A human rights catastrophe in the making

EUROPEAN Union (EU) leaders last week negotiated a strange agreement with Turkey whereby refugees landing in Greece will be returned to Turkey but for each one returned, one refugee from Turkey will be allowed into Europe. The EU will pay Turkey billions to rid itself of the problem of huge numbers of refugees landing in Greece, who are now barred from moving beyond Greece into the rest of Europe.

Turkey already has, according to reports, around three million Syrian refugees within its borders and its record of care for them is not good. The country is also engaged in a genocidal war against the Kurds within Turkey and it has started closing down newspapers that are critical of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It is becoming an extreme Islamist fascist state — and the EU wants to leave hundreds of thousands of very vulnerable people at its mercy.

The leaders from the 28 EU countries claim this measure will stop the trail of refugees into Europe if they know they will be returned to Turkey. But they are not fleeing to Europe for fun; they are fleeing for their lives from a war that Turkey has played a major role in stoking.

The real solution to the problem would be for Turkey and the EU countries, including Britain, that have been stirring this war to stop doing so and to give the Syrian government of Assad compensation for the damage they have done to aid reconstruction of new safe homes for the Syrian people — which is what they want most of all.

There are already many millions of war refugees accommodated inside Syria in internal refugee camps and in other neighbouring countries such as Lebanon.

The ones who flee to Europe are the ones who had some money to give to the people traffickers to get them to Europe in unsafe boats and with a high risk of drowning on the way.

The EU leaders are behaving as though it is the traffickers who have caused the problem and if they can be policed by the EU and Turkey it will vanish. But people that desperate will still keep coming regardless as long as their homes are not safe and they will be willing to try to bribe anyone who has a boat to help them.

It is the EU leaders — Britain, France and the United States — that have caused the problem through their interference in Syria and their indirect funding of the ISIS, al Qaeda and al Nusra terrorists — using Turkey and Saudi Arabia as go-betweens.

Thanks to Russian support for the Assad government these terrorists are now in full retreat and the war could be over soon if the western imperialists would just stop interfering.

But in the meantime the EU is hoping that by plying Turkey with money and other bribes — like granting EU visas to thousands of Turkish immigrants working in Europe and expediting Turkey becoming part of the EU in spite of the country becoming more fascist every day — they can make the refugee problem disappear.

The danger to these refugees is that, one way or another, Turkey will make them disappear more literally. Voices of concern have been raised at the United Nations (UN) that the EU—Turkey deal is a breach of international human rights

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the agreement, which is dues to be finalised next week, will expose migrants to huge risks, as well as break EU and international laws on the right to protection.

Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR Europe Bureau Director, stressed: “Collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited under the European Convention on Human Rights. An agreement that would be tantamount to a blanket return of any foreigners to a third country is not consistent with European law, is not consistent with international law.”