July 2022 Newsletter Newsletter

Amnesty International’s Report ‘You’re Going to Your Death’

According to multiple interviews conducted by Amnesty researchers with returnees or their relatives, Syrian intelligence officers have subjected women, children and men returning to Syria to unlawful or arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment including rape and sexual violence, and enforced disappearance. These violations have been a direct consequence of their perceived affiliation with the opposition, simply because they have been displaced as refugees. 

Based on these findings, Amnesty argues that no part of Syria is safe for returnees, and people who have left Syria since the beginning of the conflict are at real risk of suffering persecution or other serious human rights violations. Therefore, any states returning people to Syria at this time are in violation of the international obligation of non-refoulement, as stated in Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention and other international instruments.  

Amnesty recommends that European governments should grant refugee status (rather than subsidiary protection status) to people who have left Syria and who are now, or have been in the past, seeking asylum, without any restriction to the right to seek asylum, and maintain protection to Syrian refugees living in Europe. It recommends that they should also reconsider assessments designating parts of Syria as safe and include in the safety assessment criteria based on the risks of human rights violations. It further recommends that European and other governments operating resettlement programmes should increase resettlement commitments for Syrian refugees and provide complementary pathways to protection, including community sponsorship. To read more, go to  https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde24/4583/2021/en/