Photographs tweeted by Channel 4 journalist and cameraman Stuart Webb this morning allegedly showing members of the Turkish coastguard trying to damage the engine of an inflatable dinghy carrying refugees trying to reach Greece
Further to the talks continuing today in Brussels between the heads of the EU’s 28 member states and the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu – as they attempt to finalise a plan to stop migrants and refugees from reaching Europe…
Sue Conlon, of the Irish Refugee Council writes:
“We are calling on the acting Irish government to refuse to sign up to a proposal of the European Council, discussed on 7th March 2016, forcing refugees who have entered the EU back to Turkey.
The proposed deal, in exchange for a further €3bn, resettlement of Syrians from Turkey as well as increased rights of entry to the EU for Turkish nationals, would breach international obligations not to return refugees to a country where they may face persecution or serious harm.”
“To date, Ireland has agreed to make a contribution of €22m to an initial EU payment to Turkey of €3bn. No indication has yet been given as to whether Ireland will contribute any further payments to Turkey or accept any more refugees other than those agreed to in September 2015.
However, the danger is that, notwithstanding that Ireland only has a caretaker government at present, decisions may be made which will see Ireland, with other EU states, sign up to an agreement that sees Syrians and other nationals in need of international protection, returned forcibly to Turkey in contravention of obligations under the Refugee Convention.”
“The essential commitment of signatories to the Refugee Convention is that of non-refoulement, the agreement not to return someone to the borders of a state where they may be at risk of persecution.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty Ireland has created a petition calling on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to refuse to accept the deal.
Those who wish can sign it here
Previously: Cannon Fodder
Pics: Stuart Webb