Members of the European Union, which will meet in mid-October to discuss the huge influx of refugees, must implement a humane resettlement system based on equitable quotas, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
Since Friday, about 10,000 refugees have crossed from Greece into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR). An estimated 1,200 arrived in Hungary, while hundreds of others have attempted to reach countries in northern and western Europe every day.
A Euro-Med Monitor field team found that nearly 400 refugees, including Syrians, Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans, have been kept waiting at the border between Macedonia and Greece, hoping for police permission to enter the FYR.
“The Macedonian authorities erred in closing the border for days while thousands of refugees fleeing wars are simply trying to reach safety,” says Sandra Owen, who monitors irregular migration for Euro-Med Monitor. “Instead of beating and attacking them with sound bombs and gas canisters, the Macedonian authorities should provide a helping hand.”
Hundreds of refugees, including children and women, have been sleeping under open skies along Macedonian border, while temperatures reached 40 degrees C.
Euro-Med Monitor also condemns Hungary’s decision to build a border fence stretching along the 175km Hungarian-Serbian border to keep out the increasing numbers of refugees.
“The number of refugees fleeing the Middle East and North Africa has reached 240,000, and 2,300 of them have drowned in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2015,” reports Ihsan Adel, Euro-Med Monitor legal advisor. “The European Union must act to provide a just solution for those fleeing cruel humanitarian situations.”
A Euro-Med Monitor team interviewed a number of migrants who recently reached Greece. Ibrahim Al-Masri, a Syrian refugee said, “My child used to have a better life in Syria. Look at her now! She’s homeless. They do not treat us as humans, they even treat animals better than that,”
Muhammed Satouf, another Syrian refugee said, “I am not a terrorist, neither are these children and women, we are humans. The world has to finally act.”