About a dozen men, supposedly Iranian, sewed their mouths shut and started a hunger strike, after being trapped on Greece’s border with Macedonia for up to 6 days. They’re in silent protest. Thousands more protest with chants and signs.
They are part of the people who are not able to continue their journey towards Eastern and Northern European countries, as they’re considered “economic migrants” and not refugees fleeing armed conflict.
Most of the protesters are from Pakistan, Iran, Morocco and Bangladesh. They’re seeking to start a new life in countries like Sweden and Germany, fleeing life-threatening situations like bomb attacks and killings by the Taliban and Islamic State, inhumane labor conditions and forced military enrollment.
The protesters started to refuse blankets and food, and some of them said they’d rather be shot than go back to their countries. Armed forces keep them out of Macedonia.
Macedonia, along with Serbia and Croatia will only take refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, in an attempt to control the number of migrants coming into Europe.
This restriction comes after the ISIS attacks in Paris last week, in which a forged Syrian passport was found next to the body of one of the attackers.
Last Thursday, Slovenia tried to return 168 migrants from Morocco. As a consequence, the Balkans started to limit their migrant admission, by only letting migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan to enter the countries. The Balkans fear migrants may end up stranded on their territory if they are not allowed to continue their journey. Therefore, they will let through only those who can easily demonstrate their refugee status.
A spokesman for the Slovenian interior ministry said: “No country has limitless capacity, so the capacity should be for those whose lives are really in need.”
Image Copyright: Reuters http://watch.reuters.tv/GqK