For over 60 days, Algeria and Morocco have abandoned 28 refugees from Syria at their border. EuroMed Rights and its members demand that the authorities of both countries assume their responsibilities and accept that a humanitarian delegation and a UNHCR delegation immediately reach these people.
How many press releases will it take? How many associative caravans blocked just a few meters away from the refugees must be organised? Although the physical and mental health of these refugees is deteriorating, Algiers and Rabat refuse to stray from their inflexible positions.
Our organisations denounce the logic of dangerous and sovereign stubbornness, which results in practices that totally violate the Geneva Convention and their international commitments. We condemn the arrests of those who, among the group, had managed to reach various cities, such as Nador, Oujda and Figuig, and were intercepted and forced to returned to the area where they initially were.
Beyond the evidence that would attest of the presence of this group of people on one side of the border or the other, neither Algiers nor Rabat can depart from the most fundamental principles of international law that holds them accountable. Should our organisations remind them that:
On this International Refugee Day, EuroMed Rights and its member organisations demand that an international delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) be immediately authorised to travel to the concerned area accompanied by a humanitarian delegation providing access to health care, drinking water and food.
According to our information, each of these people are within the mandate of UNHCR and are entitled to a solution to their individual situations, including resettlement and family reunification/regrouping. Only access is missing.
In many aspects, this situation is emblematic of the terrible and sometimes fatal consequences of the militarisation of borders and the obstacles faced by refugees in obtaining protection and access to their rights in the world, and in particular in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It is also emblematic of the unfailing solidarity of associations and individuals, which has been expressed in many countries towards the refugees.
Simultaneous press conferences will be organised on Wednesday 21 June by local sections of Amnesty International and Algerian and Moroccan associations.
For more information, contact our Press Officer, Marie Shand at email@example.com
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