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Jordan 'summarily deporting' Syrian refugees, Human Rights Watch says

Jordan ignoring dangers facing refugees and deporting hundreds back to Syria, Human Rights Watch says
2 min read
02 October, 2017
Jordan has allegedly deported hundreds of refugees back to Syria despite the dangers they face from security forces and war.
Thousands of Syrian refugees live in the makeshift Rukban camp on the border [AFP]

Jordan is "summarily deporting" Syrian refugees despite the huge risks they face returning home, Human Rights watch alleged on Monday.

The kingdom is host to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who fled during the six-years war, many living in two large camps in northern Jordan.

From January to May, Jordan deported around 400 registered Syrian refugees each month, HRW said, including whole families.

"Jordanian authorities have been summarily deporting Syrian refugees - including collective expulsions of large families," HRW said.

A new report quoted a 30-year-old mother of three who said her family was deported despite the US examining their request for resettlement.

"They never gave us a reason," she said.

Around 300 registered refugees returned to Syria "voluntarily" each month, and another 500 returned "under circumstances that are unclear".

"Jordan shouldn't be sending people back to Syria without making sure they wouldn't face a real risk of torture or serious harm and unless they have had a fair opportunity to plead their case for protection," said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at HRW.

It called on other nations to "to enable [Jordan] to provide safe and decent asylum space for Syrian refugees and asylum seekers".

Jordan is hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees according to the UN figures, while the kingdom says the real number is 1.3 million.

Government spokesman Mohammed Momani rejected HRW's findings, saying "the return of refugees is voluntary and not to any dangerous areas".