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Thousands take to streets in Germany to demand EU action over Moria migrants

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Protesters demonstrate for the evacuation of all migrant camps in Greece after the fire at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, on September 20, 2020, in Berlin.
Protesters demonstrate for the evacuation of all migrant camps in Greece after the fire at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, on September 20, 2020, in Berlin.   -   Copyright  Stefanie Loos/AFP
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Thousands took to the streets of German cities on Sunday urging the European Union to take action on the asylum seekers left without shelter after the Moria camp blaze on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Protesters in Berlin were joined by the aunt of Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy who became a tragic symbol of the migrant crisis in 2015 when he drowned in the Mediterranean.

Images of his body washed up on the Turkish shore caused international outrage and highlighted the humanitarian crisis facing those fleeing the civil war in Syria.

"I decided to speak and explain myself in the name of all those who can't do it themselves... If I can't save my own family, we can save others," said Tima Kurdi, who called on citizens to write to politicians to demand action.

"We can't close our eyes and turn our backs," she added.

Sonya Bobrik, an activist for the German NGO Seebrücke, said there was "more than enough room in Germany" to welcome the more than 1,500 refugees currently in Greece that the government in Berlin had promised to take charge of on Tuesday.

According to police, 5,000 protesters alone gathered in Berlin, with other demonstrations taking place in Cologne, Munich and Leipzig.

Some 12,700 people were left without shelter after a blaze last week destroyed the refugee camp in Moria on Lesbos. The camp had been built for just 3,000 people.

According to asylum seekers on the island, 9,000 have now been rehoused in a new temporary camp in which many feared would be stuck.

The fire is believed to have been started by migrants following a dispute with authorities over coronavirus restrictions in the camp.