'Obama should ask Jordan to take more Syria refugees'

By REUTERS
March 21, 2013 22:06
1 minute read.

BEIRUT - US President Barack Obama should urge Jordan not to discriminate against refugees crossing its borders from Syria when he meets King Abdullah, said two US rights groups on Thursday, who say Palestinians living in Syria are often refused entry.

Jordan has given refuge to more than 360,000 Syrians but "routinely and unlawfully" denies entry to many, Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic said in a statement.

Palestinians who lived in Syria are regularly turned back by Jordanian border guards, the groups said, as are single Syrian men and refugees who arrive without identity cards.

By refusing entry to refugees, Jordan was sending many people back into areas where their lives were in danger, the groups said.

"Discriminating against Palestinians and single males as ineligible to seek asylum within Jordan violates Jordan's international legal obligations," said Meera Shah, clinical advocacy fellow at the Harvard Clinic.

"Jordan should treat individuals in these categories the same as all other asylum seekers fleeing the fighting in Syria."

Obama is expected to meet Jordan's King Abdullah on Friday on the final leg of his four-day tour of Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.


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