Lawyer shot dead by Turkish border guards while fleeing Syria: SOHR

A lawyer died of his injuries after being shot by Turkish border guards while trying to cross into Turkey from Syria via the northwestern region of Idlib, Turkish Minute reported on Thursday, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The lawyer was seeking refuge amid the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria, where many people are forced to seek safety in neighboring countries, often taking dangerous journeys fraught with risks.

According to SOHR, Turkish border guards have been responsible for the deaths of 23 civilians in various regions near the Syrian-Turkish border since the beginning of 2023. During the same period, 36 people, including one child and three women, were injured by gunfire from Turkish border guards.

The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, has killed hundreds of thousands and torn families apart. More than 585,000 people have died in the conflict, and 6.6 million have become refugees in neighboring countries and Europe, with the entire country deeply traumatized by the cruelty of the war.

The situation in the country has been exacerbated by major earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, which killed more than 50 thousand people.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in April accused Turkish border guards of committing serious human rights abuses against Syrians trying to flee their war-torn country, including indiscriminate shooting, torture, and excessive use of force.

The organization called on Ankara to hold those responsible accountable, end the long-standing impunity associated with these violations, and uphold its human rights commitments.

According to UNHCR, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide. The country is currently home to some 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees.

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