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Shooting at refugees allowed in Turkey? Human Rights Watch denounces

(B2) Turkish border guards shot or beat Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Turkey, resulting in death or serious injury, reports today Human Rights Watch, supporting video testimonials.

5 asylum seekers killed and 14 others seriously injured

In March and April, Turkish border guards used violence against Syrian asylum seekers and smugglers, killing five people including a child and seriously injuring 14 others according to victims, witnesses and local Syrian residents interviewed by long.

Six of the incidents described by Syrian witnesses took place near the Khurbat al Juz-Güveççi border crossing, about 50 kilometers south of the Turkish city of Antakya. The seventh occurred near the Syrian border town of al-Duriya.

Seven of the injured said they briefly stayed in the Salaheddin IDP camp located in the village of Khurbat al-Juz, overlooking the newly erected Turkish border wall nearby.

The majority of them and others who had gone directly to the border said they had recently fled fighting in and around Aleppo.

Watch out we're gonna shoot you

A representative from the Khirmash camp told the NGO that on April 13, Turkish border guards in nearby watchtowers used loudspeakers to announce in Arabic that anyone would approach the border despite the ban would get shot.

Detention, RefoulementAnother 28 Syrian asylum seekers — interviewed by the NGO (between April 12 and 20) — described border guards intercepting them as they crossed the border accompanied by smugglers between February and mid-April. They said guards sometimes detained them for an entire day, then sent them back to Syria with dozens — even hundreds — of others. Some lived in the Khirmash displaced persons camp west of the Syrian town of Bidama.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).