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Activists at Risk of Persecution, Torture if Returned Home

(Berlin) – The Turkish government should halt any plans to deport two detained Turkmen activists to Turkmenistan, where they will be at grave risk of arbitrary arrest and torture, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish authorities…
A man walks near Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
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EU Should Raise Issue, Pledge Aid at Conference

(Brussels) – Turkish security forces have routinely intercepted hundreds, and at times thousands, of asylum seekers at the Turkey-Syria border since at least December 2017 and summarily deported them to the war-ravaged Idlib governorate in Syria,…
A Turkish soldier surveys the border line between Turkey and Syria near the city of Kilis, March 2, 2017.
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
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At Global Refugee Summits, Commit to Resettlement and Aid

(New York) – The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people…
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(Nairobi, May 30, 2016) – The Sudanese authorities deported at least 442 Eritreans, including six registered refugees, to Eritrea in May 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. Sudan denied the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to…
Eritrean refugees in Sudan’s Shagarab refugee camp
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Summit Should Tackle Responsibility for Refugees

(Istanbul) – United Nations member states and UN agencies attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016, should press the Turkish authorities to reopen Turkey’s border to Syrian asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A border guard manning Turkey’s closed border with Syria patrols near the Turkish village of Guvecci, February 7, 2016.
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Gary Noling holding a photo of his daughter Carri Goodwin, a rape victim who died of acute alcohol intoxication less than a week after receiving an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Marines.
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No Escape for Thousands Fleeing Attacks on Border Camps

(Istanbul) – Syrian military attacks on armed opposition groups near the Turkish border hit two displaced persons camps on April 13 and 15, 2016, causing at least 3,000 people to flee, although they were unable to cross the border to safety, Human Rights…
Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border, sheltering about 2,000 people as of mid-April 2016.
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At least 30,000 Trapped Amid Northern Syria Fighting

(Istanbul) – Turkey should stop shooting at Syrian civilians fleeing fighting and immediately allow them to cross the Turkish border to seek protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Renewed fighting between the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and…
Internally displaced Syrians outside Azaz town, fleeing ISIS advances north of Aleppo near the closed Turkish border.
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Meager Pledges as 92 Countries Meet

(Geneva) – Representatives of 92 countries failed to pledge more than a slight increase in resettlement places for Syrian refugees at a high-level UN meeting on March 30, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High…
Syrians arrive at a camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Azaz town, 5 kilometers south of Bab al-Salam and Turkey’s closed Öncüpınar border post on February 6, 2016.
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Would Harm Refugees, Undermine EU’s Principles

(Brussels) – The European Union’s proposed deal with Turkey, announced on March 8, 2016, represents “a disturbing disregard for international law covering the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants,” Human Rights Watch…
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Outline Deal Reveals Contradictory Positions on Refugee Protection

(Brussels) – The European Union outline deal with Turkey announced on March 8, 2016, contradicts EU principles guaranteeing the right to seek asylum and against collective expulsions. EU and Turkish leaders meeting in Brussels announced…
A Syrian family with children was forced by Macedonian security forces to remain in the no-man's land between Greece and Macedonia for five days without shelter after being caught trying to enter Macedonia irregularly.
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Deal to Limit Migration Deeply Flawed

(Brussels) – The European Union deal with Turkey is a flawed and potentially dangerous policy response to refugee flows across the Aegean Sea. EU and Turkish leaders will meet in Brussels on March 7, 2016, to discuss implementation of a…
Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. October 11, 2015.
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45,000 Caught Between Aleppo Fighting and Border

(Istanbul) – Turkey should allow Syrians at its border fleeing the fighting in and around Aleppo to seek protection in Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. Forcing people to remain in a war zone, where they risk death and injury, is…
Syrians arrive at a camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Azaz town, 5 kilometers south of Bab al-Salam and Turkey’s closed Öncüpınar border post on February 6, 2016.
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Lack of Consensus on Mandatory Relocation; Shift Focus to Countries Outside EU

(Brussels) – The response to the refugee crisis agreed by the European Union interior ministers on September 14, 2015, is largely focused on shifting responsibility to countries outside the EU, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch today issued a question-and-answer document that looks at the nationalities of the people risking their lives on boats on the Mediterranean to reach the European Union. It examines whether the majority of…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Government’s New Position Based on Unreliable Evidence

(London, July 2, 2015) – The United Kingdom’s Home Office should issue new guidance to staff screening Eritrean refugee claims that reflects the continued real risk of persecution and other abuses there, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the…
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Increase Refugee Resettlement, Asylum Seeker Relocation

  Update, June 26, 2015 At the European Council meeting June 25, EU leaders agreed to “in principle” to resettle 20,000 refugees from abroad and relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece. Leaders…
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