EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Greece protests over FYROM police's 'excessive violence'

Greece protests over FYROM police's 'excessive violence'
Copyright 
By Alasdair Sandford
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Greece has accused its northern neighbour the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) of excessive use of violence after Sunday’s border scenes

ADVERTISEMENT

Greece has accused its northern neighbour the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) of excessive use of violence after Sunday’s border scenes during which hundreds of migrants and refugees were injured.

The Greek foreign minister has said Athens is making formal protests to Macedonia. The official in charge of dealing with the migration crisis, Giorgos Kyritsis, said it would also take action regarding European countries who had sent police observers to the Macedonian side, including Slovakia and Hungary.

Calm has since returned to Idomeni and most of the injured have reportedly been released from hospital.

But on Sunday eyewitnesses said FYROM police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds on the Greek side of the fence separating the two countries.

Macedonian police say they were provoked and have denied using plastic bullets – a claim that has been challenged by doctors treating people’s injuries.

“(We have) serious concerns: There have been fractures and plastic bullet wounds to the head – so I’ve had three children under the age of 10 who’ve had plastic bullets to the head,” said Connor Kenny, a doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Amongst our patients at #Idomeni today were 3 kids under 10 with plastic bullet wounds to the head. pic.twitter.com/RDP0VN3CWC

— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) April 10, 2016

Sunday’s tension, following the border’s total closure in February, came after a leaflet in Arabic was distributed on Saturday suggesting the frontier would open.

A delegation of five Syrian refugees tried to mediate between police and protesters – to no avail.

After FYROM police denied the border was about to open, over 100 refugees tried to scale the fence and clashes began.

“We have here 10,000 people. We are the five, we came here and we try to discuss with you with a nice way, with a peace way, and that’s what we are looking for. But the problem is that we have 10,000 people behind and we will try to ask them to just calm and keep down. But the problem is that we cannot control 10,000 people,” said one young man who was part of the impromptu Syrian delegation.

Greece says it has doubled the police presence at Idomeni.

It has been trying to persuade refugees and migrants that they should go to reception centres elsewhere in the country to ask for asylum – a message that has failed to get through, with thousands still bent on trying to head north towards other European destinations.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Hundreds injured on the Greece-FYROM border

Desperate migrants storm fence on FYROM border

Greece 'postpones' next batch of migrant deportations to Turkey