Jordan forcibly deports Syrian refugees


Over the past months, dozens of Syrian refugees have been deported by the Jordanian government to Rukban, a desolate camp across the Syria-Jordan border. Authorities say those targeted for deportation have “security” issues, but returnees to the camp deny having had any problems with law enforcement in Jordan. Amnesty International said Sept. 16 that at least 16 refugees had been “forcibly transferred” to Rukban over the past month alone. Watchdog groups say the deportations are a violation of asylum-seekers’ rights, and that sending a refugee back to likely harm—known as refoulement—is prohibited under international law. While Jordan has been quietly deporting asylum-seekers for several years, this is the first time it has been accused of forcible transfers to the desert no-man’s-land, which experiences scalding temperatures and is largely cut off from food and medicine supplies. “[I]t’s still a human rights violation regardless of what [the refugees] are accused of,” said Sara Kayyali, a Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These deportations have happened with no fair trial or due process.”

Condensed from The New Humanitarian, Sept. 16

Photo: Omar al-Homsi/TNH

  1. Amnesty: returning Syrian refugees face torture

    Syrian refugees who returned to the country have been detained, tortured and raped by Syrian security forces, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The report, titled “You’re Going to Your Death,” documents 24 instances of violence or arbitrary detention against returned Syrian refugees. (Jurist)

    Similar reports have been mounting for years.