NGOs furious over France allegedly trying to deport Syrians home

NGOs furious over France allegedly trying to deport Syrians home

Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have alleged that French authorities attempted to deport two Syrian nationals back to Syria, arguing that the attempts are illegal under international law.

The NGOs Amnesty International, La Cimade and Revivre have condemned the authorities of two French regions who have tried to get in touch with the Syrian authorities to deport two Syrian citizens from France.

The Haute-Garonne prefecture and the Paris police prefecture both contacted the Syrian embassy in France last October, despite official relations between France and Syria having been severed since March 2012, Le Monde reports.

“Our organizations ask the government to clarify its position by reminding the prefectures of France’s international obligations, which absolutely prohibits the return of a person to a country where they risk death, torture and other ill-treatment,” says a joint statement from the voluntary organisations. .

The NGOs also claim that the two Syrians were only not deported from France because the Syrian embassy refused to give them a laissez-passer – a temporary travel document that would allow them to enter the country.

The French Interior Ministry denied the claims made by the NGOs regarding deportations to Syria, but added that “it is sometimes necessary to ask, via consular contacts, the Syrian authorities to confirm the Syrian nationality of an illegal alien who requests it.”

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said last year that while he wants to increase the number of deportations of illegals, he was open to a tolerated status for migrants from Syria and Afghanistan, as France has no formal diplomatic ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad or the Taliban.

Darmanin has promised to introduce new immigration reforms this year after saying last July that he wanted to deport all immigrants convicted of serious crimes, regardless of their status in France.

The interior minister has proposed several new measures to crack down on those with existing deportation orders, including putting them on the French criminal wanted list and cutting their access to social benefits.

However, France’s actual deportation record has been lacking under President Emmanuel Macron, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic when less than ten percent of deportations were actually carried out.

The French public has also expressed a clear lack of confidence in the Macron government on the issue of immigration, with a poll released in November showing that 77 percent of the French public believed Macron was failing to control immigration, including a majority of Macron’s own supporters . .

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

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