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UN rights chief fears "collective expulsions" under EU-Turkey deal

by Reuters
Thursday, 24 March 2016 13:56 GMT

GENEVA, March 24 (Reuters) - The top United Nations human rights official voiced concern on Thursday that a deal to manage migrant flows struck by the European Union and Turkey could lead to "collective expulsions" of refugees in violation of international law.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that there was "a contradiction at the heart of the agreement" between its stated aim to return all refugees and migrants and its assurances that individual claims for asylum would be assessed.

"Disturbingly, there have also been recent reports of forcible returns amounting to refoulement from Turkey," Zeid said in a statement, referring to illegal forced returns of refugees facing conflict or persecution in their homelands. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles)

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