European Union refugee policy slammed by Amnesty

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Leading human rights group Amnesty International has slammed the European Union over its stance on refugees, saying the policies do not protect the rights of asylum seekers.

The new Secretary General of Amnesty International in Germany, Markus Beeko, said the EU refugee policy primarily focuses on refugees control instead of the protection of the asylum seekers.

Referring to the controversial refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey, Beeko voiced concern over the “still very young asylum system” in Turkey, which in no way “matched” the number of those seeking protection.

He noted that many people are currently living in Turkey in unsafe conditions.

Europe is still facing an unprecedented influx of refugees, who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Many blame support by some Western countries for the militants operating in the Middle East for increased violence, which in turn forces the departure of more people from their home countries.

Struggling to curb the crisis, Europe’s worst since World War II, the European Union struck a deal with Turkey back in March. Under the agreement, Turkey agreed to take back all the asylum seekers and refugees reaching Europe via its territory in return for financial aid, visa liberalization and the acceleration of EU membership negotiations.

Observers say that in striking the accord, the EU violated its own laws as the bloc is not entitled to redirect refugees to a non-EU country like Turkey.