The International Federation of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants Councils (IFIRIC)
IFIRIC Mission Statments

IRANIAN REFUGEES IN PERIL

IRANIAN REFUGEES IN PERIL

A Report by Maryam Namazie

SUMMARY

On November 30, 1994, the Turkish government adopted Decision Number 94/6169 (the Regulation). Among other provisions, the Regulation requires non-Europeans, namely Iranians and Iraqis, to apply for asylum with the Turkish police within five days of entry. The undocumented must apply at the dangerous border area where a war rages between the government and the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). Despite the Regulation, many are either unable or unwilling to meet the stringent and perilous requirements and are therefore being deemed "illegal." The refugees' justified non-compliance is giving the Turkish government a free hand in abusing and refouling (forcibly returning) those with a well-founded fear of persecution back to Iran and Iraq under the guise of "legalities." The discriminatory Regulation, however, violates internationally recognized refugee rights and prevents refugees from enjoying their basic right to asylum, protection and non-refoulement.

PREFACE

Maryam Namazie, responsible for the International Federation of Iranian Refugees and Immigrants Councils' (IFIRIC) Turkey branches and its International Relations, as well as a Steering Committee Member of the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR) spent five weeks in Turkey during October and November 1996. Her visit was facilitated by the IFIRIC-branch members in Turkey and the Women's Committee-Turkey branch. During her visit, Namazie spoke about the situation of Iranian refugees in Turkey with numerous refugees; IFIRIC-branches and Women's Committee members; Turkish organizations, including the Progressive Lawyers organization, the Turkish Human Rights Association, and the Teachers' and Doctors' Syndicate; the United States, Canadian and Australian embassies; the International Catholic Migration Conference (ICMC); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


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