A number of Syrian refugees who returned home have been subjected to detention, disappearance and torture at the hands of Syrian security forces, proving that it still isn’t safe to return to any part of the country, Amnesty International said Tuesday.
The report strongly counters claims by a number of states that parts of Syria were now safe to return to. It criticizes Denmark, Sweden and Turkey specifically for restricting protection and putting pressure on refugees from Syria to go home. It also criticizes Lebanon and Jordan, which have some of the highest number of Syrian refugees per capita. In Lebanon and Turkey, where many refugees face dire living conditions and discrimination, governments have put increasing pressure on Syrians to return. Turkey has reportedly forcibly deported many Syrians in the last two years — expulsions that reflect rising anti-refugee sentiment in a country that once flung open its borders to millions of Syrians fleeing civil war.
Any government claiming Syria is now safe is willfully ignoring the horrific reality on the ground, leaving refugees once again fearing for their lives,” said Marie Forestier, researcher on refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International.