[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [official website] on Friday reported that Turkey has denied entry to many injured Syrian refugees attempting to cross its borders. The refugees are fleeing after bombing in the northern Aleppo countryside over the last two weeks. According to AI, Turkish authorities have even shot and injured those attempting to cross the border unofficially in order to prevent them from entering the country. Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at AI, stated, “People we spoke to painted a tragic picture of the desperate situation for the civilians who remain trapped between daily airstrikes and dire humanitarian conditions. Turkey’s highly selective practice is appalling – only severely injured people are allowed entry to seek medical treatment while everyone else fleeing the violence is left unprotected.” AI has called on Turkey to keep its border open to all sick and injured refugees trying to escape the brutal attacks in their home country.
The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. In January Human Rights Watch (HRW) published [JURIST report] a report claiming that Lebanese residency laws risk creating a large undocumented community of refugees living within the Lebanese community. In November UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed [JURIST report] the UN General Assembly and cautioned the international community to avoid discrimination against Muslims, especially refugees and migrants entering Europe, as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris a week earlier. Also that month AI analyzed [JURIST report] the EU’s approach to the refugee crisis and recommends changes to ensure international law is followed and human rights are appropriately valued. In October HRW called on [JURIST report] the EU and Western Balkans states to focus on remedying what it characterized as deplorable conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave the opening statement [JURIST report] at the thirtieth session of the Human Rights Council in September in which he addressed, among other pressing human rights issues, the migrant crisis.