AI index: EUR 44/011/2013
13 May 2013
Turkey: Twin car bombings in Syrian border district condemned
Amnesty International condemns unreservedly the 11 May bomb attacks in the centre of Reyhanlı which have left 50 people dead and more than 100 injured.
Reyhanlı¸ in Turkey’s Hatay province is situated next to the Syrian border and close to one of the main crossing points between the two countries. The city hosts a large number of Syrian refugees. At least three Syrian nationals were reported to be among those killed in the explosions.
The attacks, which apparently targeted ordinary people going about their lives show contempt for the right to life and the fundamental principles of international law.
According to reports, the two explosions took place within 15 minutes of each other, in busy areas at the centre of the city. The first occurred at around 1.45pm next to the main municipality building, the second close to the post office. The times and locations of the attacks suggest an attempt to maximise the number of civilian casualties.
No group has taken responsibility for the attacks but the Turkish authorities said that a group working in cooperation with the Syrian intelligence services was responsible. Nine Turkish nationals were arrested in connection with the bombings. A spokesperson for the Syrian authorities denied any state involvement in the attacks.
Amnesty International calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation and bring all those responsible to justice in line with international human rights standards.
Amnesty International is also concerned at reports of violent attacks against Syrian refugees by unknown individuals in the city following the bombings. Such attacks against Syrian refugees, who alongside their hosts in Turkey were also likely targets of the bombings is unacceptable. Amnesty International calls on the Turkish authorities to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Syrian refugees, to investigate the reported attacks and to bring those responsible to justice.