Target: Tayeb Belaiz, Minister of the Interior and Local Governments
Goal: Prevent 18-year-old refugee from being forcibly returned to Syria, where he would be at risk of human rights violations
Eighteen-year-old Moustafa Albakkor fled from the violence and destruction of his native Syria in 2012. After his recent entry into Algeria, however, he was arrested and is at grave risk of being returned to Syria, where he will likely be subjected to human rights violations. Sign the petition and demand that his deportation be halted.
Albakkor initially fled to Turkey but had “numerous problems getting access to schooling” there, Amnesty International reports. He returned to northern Syria to obtain a passport, which he hoped would grant him better access to an education. A man who claimed to be a lawyer helped him get a passport, and Albakkor traveled back to Turkey, where he was officially recognized as a refugee by the United Nations.
After living in poor conditions in Turkey and hearing “that Algeria had a good system in place for refugees,” Albakkor decided to travel there. He entered the country and was arrested four days later when authorities were alerted that INTERPOL had flagged his passport number. He has been imprisoned ever since for entering the country using a forged passport, and inside sources claim that the Syrian government has already been contacted regarding his deportation. His family also reports that they have not been allowed to see him since he was arrested.
Returning a refugee to a country where he faces likely or certain human rights violations is forbidden by international agreements. Additionally, Algeria is party to the 1951 Refugees Convention and the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and is therefore “obliged to provide international protection for those fleeing serious human rights violations and the armed conflict in Syria.” Sign the petition and demand that Moustafa Albakkor not be forcibly returned to Syria and that he be granted access to his family and legal representation.
I am writing to demand that 18-year-old Moustafa Albakkor not be forcibly returned to his home country of Syria. If he is returned to Syria he faces a high likelihood of human rights violations and/or violence. Please do what is right–both legally and morally–and halt Moustafa Albakkor’s deportation.
Forcibly returning a person to a country where his or her safety and human rights are severely threatened is a violation of international human rights agreements. Furthermore, as a party to both the 1951 Refugees Convention and the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, Algeria is legally required to protect those fleeing from international conflicts like the one in Syria.
Moustafa Albakkor has been granted official refugee status by the United Nations and maintains this status regardless of how he entered Algeria. It is imperative that he not be returned to Syria. I urge you to put a stop to his deportation immediately and to allow him access to his family and legal representation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SKopp via Wikimedia Commons