Amnesty: Syria refugees facing humanitarian disaster in Jordan

Amnesty: Syria refugees facing humanitarian disaster in Jordan

Amnesty International has called on Jordan to allow some 12,000 Syrian refugees stranded along the country’s border with Syria, warning of a worsening humanitarian situation.

The rights group urged Amman to “take immediate action” in order to help the refugees, including pregnant women, children, and elderly people, currently “struggling to survive” on the border area.

Amnesty said Jordanian authorities were “fueling a humanitarian disaster on their doorsteps” by denying entry to the refugees.

“As the conflict in Syria continues, it is critical that Jordan, and Syria’s other neighboring countries, keep their borders open to those fleeing bloodshed or persecution,” head of Amnesty’s refugee and migrant rights Sherif Elsayed-Ali said.

He said the refugees, many with serious medical conditions, are struggling to survive in freezing temperatures.

The warning came days after the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on Amman to allow the refugees into the country. It said 11,000 and 1,000 refugees were stuck, respectively, in Rukban and Hadalat crossing points, located in northern Jordan.

Jordan has so far failed to provide an official explanation for its decision to ban the entry of Syrian refugees into the country amid a rise in refugee arrivals over the past months.

Amnesty said although Jordan has granted refuge to some 632,000 Syrians since 2011, its policy on refugees has become “increasingly restrictive.”

Syrians are fleeing violence fueled by a foreign-backed militancy that started in 2011. So far, the unrest has claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s population within or beyond its borders.