The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed March 24 serious concerns about the recent agreement between the European Union and Turkey, pointing to what he termed “a contradiction at the heart of the agreement,” as well as raising concerns regarding arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants.
“The declared aim to return all refugees and migrants contrasts with the assurances about individual assessments,” the High Commissioner said.
“If the safeguards are to be considered real, then the individual assessments must allow for the possibility that the persons in question will not in fact be returned. Otherwise it could still qualify as a collective expulsion.”
The EU-Turkey agreement calls for cases to be processed under the EU’s Asylum Procedures Directive, and goes on to state that “Migrants not applying for asylum or whose application has been found unfounded or inadmissible in accordance with the said directive will be returned to Turkey.”