UNHCR warns against immediate refugee returns to Turkey

April 1, 2016 12:32

GENEVA - The United Nations called on Friday for safeguards to be in place before refugees are returned to Turkey under an agreement with the European Union, while warning that conditions in Greece are deteriorating.

"This is in light of continued serious gaps in both countries," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a Geneva news briefing.

Conditions on the islands of Lesbos and Samos - where three people were stabbed in rioting on Thursday night - and at the Athens port of Piraeus and Eidomeni at the border with Macedonia are worsening.

"The risk of panic and injury in these sites and others is real," she said, urging greater EU support to boost Greece's asylum system.

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