Former Syrian refugees are tortured, raped and kidnapped upon returning to their home country, a prominent human rights group claimed on Tuesday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th September, 2021) Former Syrian refugees are tortured, raped and kidnapped upon returning to their home country, a prominent human rights group claimed on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Amnesty International released a damning report "You're headed to your death" which documents alleged violations committed by Syrian security forces against returnees, including women and children. Upon returning home, these people are said to be targeted by the authorities and accused of treason or supporting "terrorism."
"Amnesty documented 24 cases where men, women and children were targeted as a direct result of these perceptions, and subjected to human rights violations including rape or other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary or unlawful detention, and torture or other ill-treatment. In some cases returnees were targeted simply because they came from parts of Syria that had been under opposition control," the rights group said.
It further urged European governments to grant refugee status, rather than subsidiary protection status, to those who have left Syria and are now, or have been in the past, seeking asylum, without any restriction on the right to seek asylum, and maintain protection for Syrian refugees living in Europe.
Since the war broke out in 2011, 6.6 million Syrians have fled the country. The vast majority live in neighboring nations where many suffer from dire living conditions, discrimination, and lack of regular migration status, encouraging them to return.
As the government forces have recaptured vast territories from militants in the past several years, the Syrian authorities began facilitating refugee return, assisted by Russia. In November, Damascus hosted an international conference on repatriation of Syrian refugees, which was shunned by the West. The Syrian government says it guarantees security to all Syrians who wish to return home.