For one year now, Syrian refugee Fadi Mansour has been arbitrarily detained at Istanbul’s Ankara Airport. Today, Amnesty has issued an urgent action calling for his release (earlier this month, Amnesty issued an urgent action in a separate case, a Syrian refugee who has been held at Sabiha Gökçen Airport since 9 November 2015). In both cases, the refugees are being held in what may amount to inhumane conditions and are at risk of being returned to Syria.
According to Amnesty International, Fadi’s “detention in the airport is arbitrary, as it appears to have no basis in law.” Moreover, the conditions under which he is being held “may amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, prohibited under domestic and international law.” According to Amnesty “The ‘Problematic Passengers’ Room’ has no natural light and artificial lighting is kept on at all times. There are no beds or any privacy.”
[Video: Syrian refugee Fadi Mansour detained at Atatürk airport since 15 March 2015, speaking, in Arabic, of what he most wants/misses: “My only dream right now, after being detained in the airport for a year, is to sleep with the lights off. This is my biggest dream. Right after that comes seeing sunlight, and breathing fresh air. These are secondary. In principle, my main focus is on lighting. This is too much. I’ve had enough.”]
[Fadi Mansour] is at continued risk of being returned to Syria. Turkish authorities have returned refugees to Syria, putting them at risk of serious human rights violations. This is contrary to Turkey’s non-refoulement obligations, binding under both domestic and international law. Turkish authorities have also used detention as a means of pressuring asylum-seekers and refugees to “voluntarily” return to their countries of origin, including Syria and Iraq. [Mansour] has told relatives that he is considering requesting to be sent back to Syria, saying “At least there I die once and it’s over, instead of dying more and more each day I spend in here.”
Click here to take action in Fadi’s case.
Click here to take action in the case of M.K. detained under similar conditions since November.