World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is concerned Syrian asylum seekers are denied entry to some EU countries like Bulgaria and Greece, spokesman Adrian Edwards said.
UNHCR spokesman Edwards told journalists at the UN's Geneva office that the UNCHR calls for the protection of people, rather than border protection.
Noting that trauma is caused when asylum-seekers are prevented from accessing and returning to a territory, Edwards also reminded that Bulgaria had turned back 100 migrants at the border over the weekend and deployed some 1,200 police officers to the border region.
Edwards also said they had asked for reports from Bulgarian authorities about the incidents at the borders. "Introducing barriers, like fences or other deterrents, may lead people to undertake more dangerous crossings and further place refugees at the mercy of smugglers," added Edwards.
It is also reported that the UNHCR is concerned over reports of asylum-seekers being pushed back from Greece to Turkey. The agency has asked Greek authorities to investigate the fate of 150 Syrian refugees, including many families with children who were reported to have been denied entry at Evros on November 12.
Edwards said, "UNHCR received information, from villagers, of the group being detained and transported in police vehicles to an unknown location, although they have not been transferred to a reception centre. Their current whereabouts is unknown to us."
Edwards stated that similar incidents happen in Cyprus, as asylum-seekers in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are sent to Turkey after being taken into custody in Greek populated southern Cyprus.
He remined that neighbouring countries host more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees, with Turkey hosting 500,000 registered refugees, more people than any other country.
"Returning Syrian refugees to Turkey or other neighbouring countries only adds to the challenges faced by these governments," said Edwards.Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Kasım 2013, 17:07