Some facts to get the events of Monday the 14th of March straight, when around 2000 refugees marched to Macedonia/FYROM from Idomeni camp, Greece.
- As reported correctly by several media outlets such as Balkan Newsbeat and the telegraf.mk on the morning of the 14th, at around 6:45 AM three people were reported dead at the police station in Gevgelija. They died of drowning, in the Suva Reka river southern Macedonia. 23 other people were rescued.
- These deaths occurred in the night before the march took place. They were reported in the morning before the march had set off.
- The route of the march did not follow the itinerary indicated on the flyer, which was allegedly distributed in the camp before the march set off.
- The flyer we saw in the press after the march contained several false allegations and misleading information. It was stated for example that the probability of Idomeni camp being evacuated was high and that refugees would be deported back to Turkey. This has nowhere been officially announced nor confirmed.
We denounce the media’s total lack of consideration for the chronology of the events as well as their erroneous reporting. Furthermore, we condemn the allegedly distributed flyer for being fear-mongering and misleading.
We would like to add that it is insulting to those who took their destiny into their own hands and took the decision to march together, to think that a flyer could be the sole cause of their decision-making. The violence of the border closure in Idomeni as well as the squalid living conditions people have been subjected to are themselves good enough reasons to decide to take collective action. What is more, people have been walking together and defying border regimes for months now as it was the case in Serbia in October and Hungary in the summer of 2015. We urge the media to focus on the fact that over 2000 people took collective action to find their own way to central Europe. And crucially, that Macedonia/FYROM violently and illegally pushed them back to Greece, without giving them the possibility to ask for international protection.