Refugees in Greek camps trapped in despair as European borders stay closed
Macedonian police fired tear gas at a crowd of refugees trying to force their way through the sealed border fence as refugees chanted "Open the borders" at Greece-Macedonia border.
The situation is so desperate that dying back home in Syria is starting to look like mercy for some refugees trapped in a make-shift camp struggling to survive.
Please Europe, please Europe, just help us. Help our children. Everyone of Europe know, the situation here, so horrible. There is no food enough for anyone, the cold is so much cold here, everyone sick.- Mohammed, from Homs, Syria in refugee camp on Greece-Macedonia border
We are tired, we are hungry here, we feel cold, our children die behind our eyes. I would like to be in my country, die with the guns. Okay, if I die with the guns in the war, maybe I die for one time, in one moment. But here, we are dying every moment. All the day, all the day, we are dying every moment. It's really, it's suffering.- Samir from Damascus, Syria in refugee camp on Greece-Macedonia border
Three days ago a woman tried to set fire on herself. Our psychologists are treating people with severe depression, so it's just coming ... Do we have to see people dying, to actually do something? Let's not reach that point.- Vicky Markolefa with Doctors Without Borders
Guests in this segment:
- Filip Warwick, freelance journalist covering the refugee crisis. We reached him in a refugee camp at the Greece-Macedonia border.
- Judith Sunderland, acting director for the European branch of Human Rights Watch.
The Current reached out to the Macedonian embassy to Canada for a response. No one was available, but we received a statement that reads, in part:
"[Macedonia] aligns to the February 2016 European Council conclusions to rapidly stem the flow, protect borders, reduce illegal migration and safeguard the integrity of Schengen area. To be able to provide effective humanitarian treatment to migrants, Macedonia was obliged to synchronize the number of allowed entries from Greece with the number of allowed entries into Serbia."
This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli.