Turkish Border Guards Accused of Killing 11 Syrian Refugees
Turkish border guards killed as many as 11 Syrian refugees as they tried to enter Turkey on Sunday, according to Syrian activists and monitoring groups. Turkey has denied the charge.
Four women, three children and one man were killed and eight others were injured near the Syrian border town of Khirbet al-Jouz, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Two other local monitoring groups put a higher death toll of 11 people, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mohammad al-Abd, a resident of Khirbet al-Jouz, said: “Locals from the village contacted Syrians on the Turkish side of the border to ask the Turkish border guards to stop shooting. Almost an hour later, we were able to take the dead bodies and wounded to the hospital. Seven people were killed and five wounded, all from the same extended family.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry denied the reports, saying the allegations “do not reflect the truth,” according to local sources.
There have been claims of shootings on the Turkey-Syria border since 2013, according to the Guardian. A Human Rights Watch report published last month accused Turkish border guards of regularly using violence against Syrian refugees.
UNHCR Report: Record 65.3 Million People Displaced Worldwide
A record 65.3 million people are displaced by conflict and persecution worldwide, according to the UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report released on Monday.
This number increased by over 5 million in only 12 months, jumping from 59.5 million in 2014.
“One in every 113 people globally is now either an asylum seeker, internally displaced or a refugee,” the UNHCR said in a press release. On average, 24 people are forcibly displaced from their homes every minute, according to the report.
Nearly two-thirds of the 65.3 million are displaced inside their own country. Three countries produce more than half the world’s refugees – Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Additionally, more than half the world’s refugees are children.
Europe’s struggle to handle the influx of migrants and refugees has caused “disturbing levels of xenophobia,” the United Nations high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
MSF Rejects E.U. Funding in Protest at E.U.-Turkey Deal
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) announced on Friday that it would reject funding from the European Union and its member countries in protest at its response to the refugee crisis.
“MSF announces today that we will no longer take funds from the E.U. and its member states in protest at their shameful deterrence policies and their intensification of efforts to push people back from European shores. This decision will take effect immediately and will apply to MSF’s projects worldwide,” the aid group said in a statement.
The organization stands to lose $60m in aid, the amount MSF received from the E.U. and its member states last year, according to the Guardian.
The E.U.-Turkey deal is the driving factor behind the decision as, according to MSF, it contravenes the fundamental principles of providing humanitarian assistance.
The decision will not impact MSF’s operations, as 90 percent of its funding comes from private sources. “None of our patients will be affected by this decision,” MSF said in a tweet.
- The Guardian: How we Survived: Child Refugees Given a Stage to Tell Their Stories – in Pictures
- New York Times: The Flight of Refugees Around the Globe
- Reuters: Hong Kong’s Stateless Children Lost in Translation as Refugee Claims Soar
- New York Times: In Jordan Camp, Syrian Refugees Prepare for Long Exile
- Deutsche Welles: Nineteen Migrants Found Suffocated in Truck at DRC-Zambia Border