copyright: Salinia Stroux
The last few days hundreds of refugees were caught on the Turkish mainland, along the western coast and in Turkish territorial waters while trying to set over to Greece clandestinely. Among the refugees who come mainly from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are more than 30% children. Whilst getting intercepted, sometimes detained or directly send back to Izmir and Istanbul, the authorities take away their life-vests. Many refugees report that the Gendarmes even burned, while telling them that: “We do that so you wouldn’t try again!”
In some occasions refugee dinghies intercepted in the Aegean Sea even were threatened by Turkish coast guards that they would shoot their dinghy if they don’t go back.
Consequently, most refugees when trying again to set over have no money left to buy new life-vests while most of them cannot swim neither.
Refugees will not stop fleeing to Europe despite NATO, Frontex, Coastguards, the usage of Drones, war ships or helicopters to locate, intercept and return them. They will not stop at barbed wire or in front of armed soldiers who are blocking their ways. As long there is war, people will move on, no matter what.
An Afghan father indicates with a movement of his hand the dinghy bopping to the left and the right in the water: “It is life, or death. But there is only one road to chose.” Next to him stands his 10-year-old son. A few meters aside four small Afghan boys play “escaping from police”. The mum of one of them who is in the second month pregnant sits beside in the park feeling desperate. She is bleeding since six days, but she cannot stay in hospital as she was strongly advised by the doctor, because the family of four has to chose for the lives of all, not only for hers and the babies. Her husband cannot hold his tears, as he feels responsible for all of them, but still has to take difficult decisions.
Tonight we witnessed more than four families starting their dangerous trip over the sea without any life-vests. They had a 3 months old baby among them and two pregnant women. Yesterday there were more than five families we happened to know with more than 15 children – one of them handicapped, another only 6 months old. And these are only the ones we accidentally got to know during a random day at a random place. One random stormy night in Turkey…
copyright: Amir Karimi
“Like dogs! We are waiting here under unbearable conditions – it is not even suitable for animals!” says a young woman who is enduring since days at the borders of Idomeni. Everywhere around the transit border camp are media representatives from all over the world covering the humanitarian crisis of the last two weeks. It was then when Austria and the Balkan states decided to further reduce the numbers of the refugees who can pass the borders by limiting the eligible nationalities on Iraqis and Syrians. On Monday refugees started a hunger strike after a 13-years-old boy got electroshocked by a cable of a standing train. But is anybody listening out there?
copyright: Chrissi Wilkens
Since the last weekend border police in Macedonia and other Balkan states are pushing refugees back who come from regions which are not considered to be war zones, like i.e. Damascus, Mosul, Rakka. Omar a refugee from Syria is standing infront of the border. He is sleeping with his family in a camp near Idomeni and came by taxi to check the situation. Next to him on the ground some families are sitting in the mud with their babies and waiting. “It’s not good at all here”, he says. In his hometown Aleppo he was a dentist. Now he wants to reach Germany. “The only thing that matters to me is the safety of my children. I hope if this border closes that another route will open for us through Albania or Bulgaria.” But his wishes seem far from reality. Albania just recently announced
that it will not take refugees that are blocked in Greece. Bulgaria conducted during the last weekend a major police exercise
on the Greek border, testing their capacity to seal the borders to any possible refugee influx. Continue reading ‘Idomeni about to explode: Anybody listening out there?’
source: news that moves
March 3, 2016
Authorities confirmed they will deny entry to Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers who declare the intention to reach Western Europe because of family reunification, education and to avoid military recruitment in their country of origin.
The Macedonian police confirmed that those who stayed for more than 30 days in ‘safe third countries’ like Turkey and Greece are also not anymore allowed to cross into Macedonia.
Only Syrian and Iraqi citizens who declare during an interview with the police that they are fleeing war, and seeking asylum are now permitted to pass into Macedonia.
The Macedonian police confirmed today that more new rules for selecting which asylum seekers can enter Macedonia and proceed further along the Balkan Route are in force immediately. Continue reading ‘Macedonia is further limiting the criteria for people allowed passage at the border with Greece’