Refugees stranded at the Idomeni border crossing sewed their lips together in a protest as they were refused to continue their journey.
A group of migrants stuck at the Idomeni border crossing launched protest against the process of filtering the refugees. The hunger strikers at the Greece-Macedonia border are among thousands of asylum seekers now trapped at borders.
About six men from Iran’s Kurdish minority sewed their mouths shut, scrawled messages such as “Just freedom” on their foreheads and chests. These men sat down on railway tracks in front of security forces. Men from Bangladesh and Morocco also joined the protests after they too were denied passage as they were classed as “economic migrants.”
The latest action by migrants stranded on the border follows days of protests. The recent border policy have triggered a build-up of refugees at Balkan borders, including some form the priority nations but without documents.
“At this moment the worst situation is at the Idomeni border crossing in Greece. where at least 2,000 Iranians, Moroccans and other nationals are stranded after the border was closed for everyone except Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi refugees,” said Milena Zajovic, spokesperson for the Are You Syrious group.
The European states including Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia have renewed their border controls since the attacks in Paris on November 13, which killed at least 129 people. Last week, Balkan countries announced that they would only open their borders to people fleeing countries affected by war such as, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The move to filter refugees came amid fears prompted by recent attacks in Paris that among the hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to escape war and persecution, there could be people planning attacks in Europe.
Rights groups have warned against conflating refugees with attackers from armed groups and have insisted asylum should not be granted by nationality but by merit. IMAGE/AFP