Migrant freezes to death after being pushed back by Bulgaria at Turkish border

A migrant froze to death in a village on the Bulgarian border in the western Turkish province of Edirne after being beaten and pushed back by Bulgaria, while another migrant was found suffering from hypothermia, according to Turkish media.

On Friday evening two migrants, whose nationalities have not yet been determined, were found lying on the ground in the village of Vaysal on the Bulgarian border. The gendarmerie and medical teams who arrived at the scene found that one of the migrants had frozen to death and that the other was suffering from hypothermia. The latter was taken to a hospital in Edirne.

The medical team determined that both migrants had been severely beaten.

Rescue teams and the gendarmerie began searching the area to see if there were any other migrants at the border, where air temperatures range from zero to 3 degrees Centigrade.

According to data collected by The Guardian newspaper based on reports from United Nations agencies as well as the databases of civil society organizations, European countries pushed back 40,000 migrants, forcibly in most cases, between January 2020 and May 2021, with more than 2,000 migrants dying during these pushbacks.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has been involved with pushbacks, which become systematic as the migrants, including children, who fled wars were sent back, the daily reported.

Pushing refugees back to countries they fled is illegal under the principle of non-refoulement, which forbids a country from forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they are liable to be subjected to persecution.

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