France: Migrant Deal Will Not Budge on Rights Abuses in Turkey

French President Francois Hollande said Saturday that the EU must not grant Turkey any concessions on human rights or visas in exchange for guarantees to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

Under a controversial draft deal reached this week, Turkey would take back all migrants landing in Greece in a bid to reduce their incentive to pay people smugglers for dangerous crossings to the Greek islands in rickety boats.

In return for every Syrian sent back from Greece, the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee from camps in Turkey — which is hosting about 2.7 million people who have fled the conflict across the border.

Turkey is also demanding US$6.6 billion in aid, visa-free access for its nationals within Europe's passport-free Schengen zone and for swifter action to process its bid to join the EU.

The plan to expel migrants en masse from Greece has sparked international criticism, with the UN's top officials on refugees and human rights questioning whether it would be legal.

Officials have also expressed concern over the potential need for compromise with Ankara, as fears grow over freedom of expression and rights abuses under the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/France-Migrant-Deal-Will-Not-Budge-on-Rights-Abuses-in-Turkey--20160312-0025.html