HRW: Jordan deporting, turning away Palestinian refugees
Jordan harbors over 1 million refugees. (AFP/File)
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Human Rights Watch has accused Jordan of denying entry to or forcibly deporting Palestinian refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria.
“Jordan … has not authorized entry to Palestinians escaping Syria since declaring an official policy of non-admission in early 2013… Jordanian officials have arrested and deported back to Syria Palestinians who enter Jordan,” the New York-based group said in a report.
It said the Amman government’s deportation of Palestinian refugees “violate Jordan’s international obligation of non-refoulement,” which bans the return of refugees to places where their lives or safety may be threatened.
“No refugees fleeing the violence in Syria -- Syrians and Palestinians alike -- should be denied entry and forced back against their will,” HRW said.
The report said the deportations of Palestinians are in stark contrast with Jordan’s harboring of more than 600,000 Syrians who fled the conflict in their country.
“Palestinian refugees face the same violence, killing and destruction that cause Syrian nationals themselves to want to flee to different countries,” HRW Middle East researcher Adam Coogle told a news conference in Amman.
Earlier in May, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said it was “concerned about the increased restrictions on Palestine refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria from entering Lebanon.”
Most Palestinians seeking refuge in Jordan come from Palestinian camps established in southern Syria or from the Yarmouk refugee camp near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
According to the estimates by the UN, more than 130,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced as a result of over three years of turmoil in Syria.
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