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Amnesty Int’l Calls for Action, Refugees Held Hostage by Failed EU Policy

Refugees freezing on the snow-covered Greek islands. Photo source: Amnesty International / ©Ihab Abassi/MSF

Refugees freezing on the snow-covered Greek islands. Photo source: Amnesty International / ©Ihab Abassi/MSF

Human rights group Amnesty International is urging people to take action in an online petition titled “Stop Refugees Freezing to Death in Greece”, in  efforts to get the European Commission ”to put human lives first and provide safety for those who need it’’.

The human rights organization is aiming to put pressure on the European Commission to ensure that refugees are moved off the Greek islands, “instead of trying to maintain a deal that has condemned thousands of people to unbearable conditions’’.

The online campaign goes on to say that the refugees are being ”held hostage by failed, cruel and dysfunctional EU policies and describes the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal as a ”flawed and inhumane pact which allows Europe to send people seeking asylum to Turkey under the assumption that their rights will be respected there, despite many refugees having been forced back into war zones such as Syria’’.

”This is another clear example of governments refusing to share responsibility for the global refugee crisis,’’ it adds.

Amnesty International underlines that few people have been sent back to Turkey under the deal so far, leading to overcrowding at Greek camps. Instead, women, men and children ”could freeze to death as arctic weather sweeps across the Greek islands this week. Trapped in squalid detention camps, refugees are surviving in flimsy, snow-covered tents as temperatures plummet below zero’’.

‘’People”, it concludes, ”are at imminent risk of freezing to death because European leaders are failing to help them… they are stuck in legal limbo and unable to leave the detention camps… effectively being held hostage by cruel and dysfunctional EU policies.”

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