Migrants: fresh protests in Idomeni, MSF leaves Lesbos

Refuses complicity in 'inhumane' deporting after EU-Turkey deal

23 March, 20:03

    Migrants protest near refugee camp of Idomeni Migrants protest near refugee camp of Idomeni

    ROME - More protests were held on Wednesday by migrants and refugees at the Idomeni makeshift camp on the Greek side of the Macedonian border.

    Some 15,000 people are stuck there after the closing of borders along the Balkan route. Syrians, Iraqis and migrants from other nations continue to demand that the borders be reopened to enable them to resume their journey towards northern and western Europe. On Tuesday, two Syrian refugees set themselves on fire during a protest in Idomeni but did not die of the injuries sustained.

    Protests have also been held on the Greek islands against the closing of the borders.

    Media reports say that hundreds of migrants have blocked the Evzoni crossing on the Greek-Macedonian border in Greek territory, shouting slogans demanding that the borders be reopened and that police allow them to enter Macedonia. Other migrants are blocking the Polykastro-Salonika highway, allowing only ambulances through. Meanwhile, after the UNHCR halted its activities in Greek hotspots - which it says have been transformed into detention centers after the EU-Turkey agreement on repatriation - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has also opted to suspend its activities at the Moria hotspot.

    ''We made the extremely difficult decision to end our activities in Moria because continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider to be both unfair and inhumane,'' said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, MSF head of mission in Greece.

    ''We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalised for a mass expulsion operation, and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants.'' (ANSAmed)

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