Amnesty International have claimed that Turkey has illegally forced thousands of refugees to return to war-torn Syria.
They estimate that an average of 100 Syrian have been sent back to Syria every day since January. The claim has been denied by Turkey.
The Amnesty report is on the eve of Turkey receiving returned refugees from Greece under a new framework outlined by an EU deal.
Under the “non-refoulement” principle of international humanitarian law, a state is prohibited from deporting individuals to a war zone.
“The inhumanity and scale of the returns is truly shocking; Turkey should stop them immediately,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s director for Europe and Central Asia.
“In their desperation to seal their borders, EU leaders have wilfully ignored the simplest of facts: Turkey is not a safe country for Syrian refugees and is getting less safe by the day,” said Mr Dalhuisen.
“The large-scale returns of Syrian refugees we have documented highlight the fatal flaws in the EU-Turkey deal. It is a deal that can only be implemented with the hardest of hearts and a blithe disregard for international law.”
He added: “Far from pressuring Turkey to improve the protection it offers Syrian refugees, the EU is in fact incentivizing the opposite.”