Torture and rape for refugees returning to Syria

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Syria has a government and a leader, reaffirmed only a few months ago after the presidential elections were held without real opponents, but it remains an unsafe place for repatriation. This morning, a report published by Amnesty International denounced dozens of cases of arbitrary detentions, kidnappings, and torture by the country’s security forces governed by Bashar al-Assad against repatriated Syrians. The leader of the Baath Party secured a new presidential term in May.

The document, entitled ‘You’re going to your death,’ underlines that, despite the repatriations in progress from Europe, Syria remains far from the safe territory. Also, the report documents the violence suffered by 66 Syrians, including 13 children, at the hands of some intelligence officers in Damascus. Bashar al-Assad will also reduce Military activities will also be reduced, but this is not the case due to the Syrian government’s propensity to carry out grave human rights violations.

The torture, forced disappearances, arbitrary and illegal detentions that caused many Syrians to leave the country are still relevant today. What is worse is that the very fact of having left Syria is enough to be targeted by the authorities,” said Marie Forestier, Amnesty International researcher on the rights of migrants and refugees. At the basis of the reported violence, there are allegedly accusations of “treason” and “terrorism” against returning refugees, taking advantage of the indiscriminate campaign against all forms of opposition brought by Damascus, which does not distinguish between political opponents, armed rebels, and jihadists.

The cases of five Siryan returnees who died during detention stand out, while the fate of at least 17 missing people remains unknown. Amnesty International also documented 14 cases of sexual assault by the security forces, including seven cases of rape against five women, a teenager, and a 5-year-old girl. Following the dossier’s publication, the organization called on European governments and the International Community to immediately stop any practice that directly or indirectly forces people to return to Syria.

The Human Rights organization stresses that any government claiming Syria is now safe is wilfully ignoring the horrific reality on the ground, leaving refugees once again fearing for their lives. “We are urging European governments to grant refugee status to people from Syria, and immediately halt any practice directly or indirectly forcing people to return to Syria. The governments of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan must protect Syrian refugees from deportation or any other forcible return, in line with their international obligations.” The report concludes.

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