54-year-old Elham, whose real name will remain anonymous due to security reasons, said that her husband had made sure that he is not wanted by Syrian regime forces before his return along with his son from Turkey in May 2020.
However, she lost all contact with them once they reached the regime-controlled areas.
She was informed that it is a routine procedure that every returnee from Turkey is subject to. Two years had passed since then, I still don’t know anything about their fate, she said.
We documented 21 cases of arrest and arbitrary detention of Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan.
At least 282,283 Syrian refugees returned from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey in a self-organized way (so-called “spontaneous returns”) between 2016 and May 2021. The rate has continued to decline to reach 38,000 in 2020, representing a significant decline by 60% since its relative peak in 2019.
The main reason forcing Syrian refugees to return home is the constant harassment they face in the hosting countries, especially in Denmark.
Therefore, we call on all countries hosting Syrians to halt all forced returns to Syria because of the inhuman and degrading conditions returnees also will likely face that can threaten their rights to life, freedom, and physical integrity.
We also stress that the deportation decision taken by Denmark and the UK against Syrian refugees came in flagrant violation of international law.
We further call for equal treatment of refugees across the EU as the war in Ukraine continues to dominate the agenda.