"Fatal flaws in EU-Turkey deal" highlighted by new Amnesty International research

The human rights organisation says Turkish authorities have been returning groups of asylum seekers to Syria since January

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A migrant holds an improvised banner after news of the Brussels summit agreement reached the inhabitants of the make shift refugee camp at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece. Image: Vadim Ghirda / AP/Press Association Images

The latest research carried out by Amnesty International highlights 'fatal flaws in the EU-Turkey deal'.

The findings show that Turkish authorities have been returning groups of asylum seekers to Syria since January of this year, while EU officials are hoping to make returns from this Monday.

The human rights organisation says that Turkey is not a safe country for refugees, and those sent back will suffer the same fate.

Amnesty says that over three days last week "researchers gathered multiple testimonies of large-scale returns from Hatay province, confirming a practice that is an open secret in the region".

The charity spoke to one extended family who were living in a single apartment in Hatay province in southern Turkey. They said five members of their family "were forcibly returned to Syria on or around 20 February 2016".

Amnesty also says increased border security is driving people into the hands of smugglers.

Colm O'Gorman with of Amnesty International Ireland says the EU needs to stop putting desperate people at risk, suggesting "it needs to respect the human rights of those who need protection in Europe... and stop placing desperate people at even greater risk":