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Jordan Rejects HRW Accusations of Forced Deportation of Syrians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Syrian refugee boy plays in front of his family tent at the al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan near the border with Syria, January 18, 2016. (Reuters)

Amman – Amman rejected on Monday claims by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the country has been “summarily deporting Syrian refugees — including collective expulsions of large families”.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said his country was abiding by international law in this regard, calling for accuracy before publishing such reports.

The report, released on Monday, said that the “Syrians are not being given a meaningful chance to challenge their removal and Jordan has not assessed their need for international protection”.

“Jordan is abiding by the international law in this regard…The return of the Syrian refugees is voluntary and in such cases the return is to areas where there is no threat or danger to their lives,” Momani told the local media.

Underlining that the security of the Jordanian borders was above all considerations, the minister noted that his country has offered a lot of help to the Syrian refugees.

According to the 27-page report, the Jordanian authorities deported about 400 registered Syrian refugees each month during the first five months of 2017.

It added that around 300 registered refugees each month returned to Syria during that time under circumstances that appeared to be voluntary.

Another estimated 500 refugees each month allegedly returned to Syria under circumstances that are unclear, the HRW report said.

Bill Frelick, Refugee Rights Director at HRW, was quoted in the report as saying: “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.”

Jordan hosts around 1.3 million Syrian refugees of whom more than 600,000 are registered with the UNHCR.