Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to Salameh Hammad, Jordanian Interior Minister expressing her concerns around the refusal of the Jordanian government to let 12,000 Syrian refugees enter the country.
Ms Anderson said,
“I have learnt, with great concern, from an Amnesty International report that the Jordanian government is refusing to let 12,000 Syrian refugees, including pregnant women, children and elderly people, who are stranded in the “no man’s land” at the North-eastern border with Syria enter the country.These refugees are in deep need of aid and lack access to food, water, blankets and medical supplies in a desert border where temperatures in winter can below freezing.
“During a delegation to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 18th – 20th December 2015, my colleagues on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee raised our concerns about the situation of the 3,500 persons back then stranded at this border point with Minister Imad Najib Fakhoury. During this meeting, the understanding was that the main reason for Jordanian authorities not to let all in was the need to carry out security checks.
“However, as pointed out by UNHCR and other stakeholders during the meeting, these security checks could easily be conducted in a centre without leaving people stranded in undignified conditions in Syria and at risk of death.
“Moreover, closing the border to persons in need of international protection is a violation of the international principle of non-refoulement given the real risk of persecution or serious human rights violations or abuses they are facing.
“Whilst the efforts of the Jordanian authorities to host refugees since the beginning of the conflict in Syria is to be welcomed, I would appeal to the Jordanian authorities to allow all Syrians stranded at the north-eastern border to enter Jordan and also to refrain from sending refugees and asylum-seekers back to Syria in violation of the international principle of non-refoulement.” ENDS