Amnesty International Slams Europe ‘Shameful’ Response to Migrants

Amnesty International Slams Europe ‘Shameful’ Response to Migrants
Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:59:17

Amnesty International has censured as “shameful” the European countries’ response to the refugee crisis in Europe.

“That Europe, which is the richest bloc in the world, is not able to take care of the basic rights of some of the most persecuted people in the world, is shameful,” Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty said on Wednesday.

Several of the 26 countries in the European Union (EU)’s passport-free Schengen area have re-imposed border controls in response to the unprecedented influx of refugees.

Shetty called for safe, legal routes for asylum seekers to reach Europe, saying they should be treated on a case-by-case basis, not subjected to “collective punishment.”

Amnesty’s Europe director John Dalhuisen said, “The majority of countries, with the honorable exception perhaps of Germany, have simply decided that the protection of their borders is more important than the protection of the rights of refugees.”

Europe is facing a huge inflow of refugees, who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria. Some 1.1 million refugees were registered d in Germany alone in 2015.

The huge number of refugee arrivals has put German Chancellor Angela Merkel under domestic pressure and given rise to some anti-refugee protests in the country.

Many blame major European powers for the exodus of refugees from their home countries, saying Western states’ policies have led to a surge in terrorism and wars, forcing more people out of their homes.

Europe is also divided over how to deal with the flood of the refugees. While a few European leaders support an open-door refugee policy, others prefer controlling the so-called external borders of the EU, deporting more people and paying third countries to keep asylum seekers on their soil.

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