Refugees freezing in Europe

Refugees are at risk of freezing to death on the Greek islands as a cold snap hits, trapped by inhumane EU policies.


Refugees freezing on the snow-covered Greek islands. ©Ihab Abassi/MSF

Men, women and children are surviving in snow-covered tents and sub-zero temperatures. They are literally being left out in the cold on the doorstep of Europe. What kind of society treats people like this?

Since the adoption of the EU-Turkey deal last March, European leaders have stockpiled asylum-seekers on the Greek islands with the expectation of sending them back to Turkey, under the flawed assumption that their rights will be respected there. But returns have not happened in the way leaders expected, resulting in overcrowding, growing anxiety and crushed hopes.

This is going down in history as a stain on our collective conscience.

Now, in these freezing temperatures, people’s lives are at serious risk. We must act now.

Urge the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to put human lives first and engage EU governments to move refugees from the Greek islands and on to other European countries.


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