Thousands of Afghan refugees who fled the Taliban’s brutality for the safety of Turkey have been repatriated since the beginning of the month, and thousands more are at risk of being forcibly deported, according to human rights group Amnesty International.
Since Afghanistan and Turkey signed a repatriation agreement at the beginning of April, an estimated 7,100 Afghans have been rounded up in Turkey and deported home, Amnesty says. This estimate is based on numbers reported by Turkish officials and the Turkish media. Now Amnesty says thousands more are at risk of being sent back to an exceptionally dangerous situation.
“Asylum seekers who are forcibly returned to Afghanistan face grave danger. This isn’t conjecture, it’s well-documented fact,” Daniel Balson, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia, told Newsweek.
“Afghanistan is in the grip of a widespread and volatile conflict and lacks the capacity to provide safety and security for returnees,” he continued. “Amnesty clearly documented cases of individuals who were forcibly returned to Afghanistan and subsequently tortured and killed by armed groups. We believe returnees from Turkey risk the same fate.”