UNHCR calls on Bulgaria and Turkey to investigate fatal incident in ‘pushback’ of refugees

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has called on Bulgaria and Turkey to investigate an incident in mid-March where two Iraqi men died at the land border between the two countries.

The UNHCR said that it continues to receive testimonies from people seeking international protection, who have been denied entry, have been “pushed back” or encountered violence at the European Union’s external borders.

It said that according to the information received, a group of 12 Iraqis belonging to the Yazidi minority, who were trying to enter Bulgaria from Turkey, were stopped by Bulgarian border guards. The Iraqis had their belongings seized and allegedly were badly beaten up.

The group scattered and two of the men, who had sustained severe injuries, died later of hypothermia on the Turkish side of the border.

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