Amnesty urges EU to stop building fences

The human rights group says Paris attacks should not be an excuse for European countries to turn refugees away

Amnesty urges EU to stop building fences

World Bulletin / News Desk

Europe must “resist the urge” to seal off its external borders in the wake of the Paris attacks, Amnesty International has said.

The human rights body said late Tuesday that if European Union member states were to build fences and seal borders in an attempt to keep migrants out, it would fuel human rights abuses and do nothing to enhance its own security.

“The expanding fences along Europe’s borders have only entrenched rights violations and [are] exacerbating the challenges of managing refugee flows in a humane and orderly manner,” John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia, said in a report entitled “Fear and Fences”.

“Giving in to fear in the wake of the atrocious attacks on Paris will not protect anyone. The numbers fleeing persecution and conflict have not gone away, nor has their entitlement to protection.

“In the wake of this tragedy, the failure to extend solidarity to people seeking shelter in Europe, often after fleeing the very same kind of violence, would be a cowardly abdication of responsibility and a tragic victory for terror over humanity,” Dalhuisen said.

The report also says European moves to fence off its borders were denying refugee access to asylum and exposing them to ill-treatment.

EU member states have built more than 235 kilometers of fences on its external borders costing €175 million ($186.3 million), including along more than 40 kilometers of Greece and Bulgaria’s frontiers with Turkey.

European countries should instead open “safe and legal routes” that will allow resettlement, family reunification and humanitarian admissions, the report concluded.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Kasım 2015, 09:10