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There was another protest in Idomeni this morning. People pushed a train wagon towards the fence and staged a protest on it. However, the Macedonian/FYROM army did not repeat yesterday´s violent actions against the refugees in Idomeni.


Visit to the camp in Kyllini

The camp in Kyllini is located in the North West of the Peloponnese in an old beach resort called L.M. Village. It is a small bungalow village right at by sea side. It is situated in an agricultural area. The next small village with a mini marked is half an hour on foot. Two to four families are living in one bungalow together, sharing the bathroom. There are around 300 Syrians in this camp, mainly families and a lot of children.

When we arrived at the camp, kids were playing football and ran around the old playground. A large group of people from Patras was there who brought donations for the people and played with the kids.

People invited us to sit with them in the sun and offered juice. “We are here since ten days. The situation here is much better than it was in Athens. We have our little house and don’t have to sleep in tents. We have hot water to shower. Before we couldn’t wash ourselves for two weeks. But although the situation is good here, we don’t want to stay here. What can we do here? There is no work her, we don’t have any money left and the border is closed for us. What can we do here? There is no future for us here. There are no schools for our children. We want our children to go to school and learn English” one woman from Aleppo explained to us.

R., another woman from Aleppo, whose husband is waiting for her and her seven children in Germany, shares her bungalow with another family with six children. The window to their room and the door to the bungalow are missing. The cold wind from the sea blows right in to their bedroom. “This place is not bad, but at night it is very cold. The authorities promise us every day that they will fix the window and the door tomorrow. But so far nothing happened.” The military brings three meals a day: In the mornings and the evenings a sandwich, for lunch mainly pasta. “The food is not bad, but my kids don’t like the sandwiches, and it’s always the same. I would like to cook my own food for my children. There is even a small kitchen in every house, but there is no gas to cook and no pans” R. explained.

R., as well as many other women in the camp who have their husbands and kids waiting for them in Germany try to get an appointment with the Asylum service. A woman from the Kurdish part of Syria has managed to get through via Skype and has an appointment in a month and a half. The others are still trying. “There is no Internet here, so we have to buy phone credit to make Skype calls. There is no organisation here that explains us what to do. They say that one will be coming, however, nobody has showed up yet. It is hard to wait without knowing for how long” R. summarised the problem of all the refugees stuck in Greece. Whether the living conditions in the camps are better or wore only makes a small difference for the people. The main need of the people is to travel on to a place where they can start their own lives, build a future for themselves and their children and where their loved ones are waiting for them.

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Eviction of the Nea Karvali Camp

As Ali, a refugee in the Nea Karvali camp in the North East Greece reported, the camp was emptied by police today. He reported on Twitter “Most people don´t want to leave” and “People frightened from enforcement.” Half of the people were brought to a camp close to Larissa, while the other half was brought to a newly established camp in the mountains close to Kavala. The situation in the new camp seems to be dire. It is only tents in a forest, people are frightened and they soon discovered the first snake. You can follow Ali on Twitter @AliMBorsan.




As several friends from Idomeni have told us, since yesterdays there have been talks about a big collective action to cross the border in to Macedonia and travel on to central Europe. Around 10 am the first protesters gathered on the train tracks. As more people joined the protest a delegation of five people went to the fence and tried to negotiate with the Macedonian/FYROM army. The army reportedly ended the talk with statement that “decisions are taken on an EU level, not here.” Nonetheless, the protestors, taking decisions in to their own hands, tried to forge their way through the border fence. As Z. a young woman from Latakia explained: “A group of young people managed to cut open the fence and enter Macedonian territory. However, as soon as we entered, the Macedonian army fired teargas and stung grenades at us. I received a lot of teargas and almost suffocated. The army tried to arrest us, but luckily we managed to escape back to Greece.”

H., a young woman from Damascus described the situation the following: “The protest started in the morning, and first, some refugees tried to reach an agreement with the army through conversation. But their answer was tear gas. Out of nowhere. That’s how it started. They wouldn’t stop throwing gas bombs at us for 4-5 hours, all afternoon long. The Macedonian army even broke in to Greek territory. People threw stones at army in response to the tear gas.

First, the wind blew the gas back on their territory, but then a strong wind blew the tear gas in to the camp. We couldn’t escape from it. It is like breathing fire. Now it is raining. That’s why the protest stopped.

I went there to see what is happening. I was first in the front, but then went back and then I just saw the tear gas bomb fall in front of me and then I fainted. I don’t know how they can throw it so far. It was very difficult to breath. It was burning like fire. Then, one woman gave me an asthma spray, and I could breath again. It burned so much. It felt like breathing fire. I still feel sick. They also fired rubber bullets at us, at people. And also, they used a water cannon against us. So many people were injured because of the tear gas. It feels like fire. I feel like I have to throw up. Even after I fainted and went back the wind kept blowing the teargas in to the camp, on to our side.

The people here are still angry, they want to continue the protest tomorrow. It only stopped because of the rain.

A Kurdish friend told us: “it’s really really bad because of the tear gas, very bad tear gas. But some people they don’t care, they don’t give up. So now they want to give a strong message to Macedonia to say you are fucking nothing, we will not give up. We hate Macedonia because they have beaten up refugees. The Macedonian soldiers have thrown stones and big rockets of tear gas.”

We condemn the extreme violence of the Macedonia/FYROM authorities against the people in Idomeni. We denounce the closure of the corridor by the EU that created the unbearable situation in Idomeni. We wish the people in Idomeni strength in their struggle for their freedom of movement!



Picture and Video provided by our friends in Idomeni.


Saturday was reigned by the rumours that on Sunday the border to Macedonia/FYROM will be opened.

On Sunday morning several hundred refugees gathered to eventually cross into Macedonia/FYROM. Protest were also reported in Cherso camp. Tensions grew in Idomeni during the morning hours when Greek police increased its presence massively and made clear that there is no border opening to be expected. Meanwhile the police blocked a solidarity aid convoy on the highway. Apparently they were afraid of a possible disturbance into the permanently existing chaos at the camp.

Once again the authorities’ reaction to self-organized protest was to blame activists and volunteers for inciting and instrumentalising protests. In doing so, they denied political subjectivity to refugees and forget that the situation in Idomeni and Greece in general is reason enough to organize protest and to embrace every chance to leave.

The Moving Europe team is leaving Idomeni right now to follow several events in Athens. You can follow us on Twitter ( to receive latest updates.


Today, the Greek government started to put its words – emptying Idomeni without using force – into practice. It sent 20 buses to take  people from Idomeni; apparently to take them to the camps in Katerini and Veroia. Around 500 people are said to have left so far. Our friends in Idomeni however emphasised once again that they will not leave Idomeni, they want to cross the border here.


In the early morning hours, the people who have been blocking the highway all night decided to clear up their protest. They endured the cold and windy night on the street, making visible their anger with the hopeless situation they are submitted to.

All day, a heavy wind blew over Idomeni, taking with it several small tents. The strong wind makes moving around in the camp a torture. It was impossible to have a conversation outside, and inside the large tents the beating of the tent cover on the metal scaffold made a quiet conversation equally impossible. The harsh weather conditions together with uncertainty of what the best thing to do would be lies heavy over the people in the camp.

Nonetheless, some gathered on the train tracks and staged a small protest with slogans urging Europe to reopen the borders.

Meanwhile the long line of media vans that used to line up on the street towards the camp for the last three weeks have mostly disappeared. The state of exception that the international media was covering frenetically has turned in to normalised everyday life in the refugee camp Idomeni.photo_2016-03-25_11-30-19




Several hundred refugees from the close-by Nea Kavala camp have blocked the highway on both lines between Thessaloniki and Macedonia/FYROM. The blockade started around midday and was not ended when the night began. The protestors stated that they cannot live any longer in the camp as the conditions are so bad. But most of all they re-affirmed their will to leave Greece and to travel on, chanting „Open the border!“ all the day.

The blockades are again a very powerful sign of disobedience against the fate which was decided for them by the European Union. Furthermore it shows once more that the EU’s plan to halt the migrations movements to and from Greece is not stable, but highly contested.

In the meantime also the Turkish contribution to the agreements seems less trouble-free than goverments maybe expected: Amnesty International reports that Turkey has forcefully deported 30 Afghans to Kabul without guaranteeing an asylum procedure. Additionally Turkish officials stated that they will not change existing laws to increase refugee protection in their country.



With the decision of the EU-Turkey summit to deport all refuges that arrive on the Greek Islands back to Turkey, a new area of refugee politics has begun. For the people this means less perspective on a life in dignity, more dangerous routes, more hardship, more suffering, and more death.

The situation on the hotspots on the Greek Island is already so bad that the UNHCR as well as Medecins sans Frontieres announced they will no longer assist the authorities there. Most NGOs, volunteers and independent activists are no longer allowed to access the camps, as they have been turned in to prisons. Read more on the Situation in Chios here and here.

With no independent observers present, the breach of the peoples right to claim asylum in Greece appears to be part of the EU plan.

The same accounts for the advocated ‘solution’ for the people still stuck in Greece. The relocation program to which people from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Central African Republic and Swaziland are eligible appears to be design to not work. In order to get an appointment for the program, Arabic speaking people have one hour a week* to call in via Skype. In addition to a working Internet connection, people also have to lucky enough to get through. A friend in Idomeni already tried in the Arabic and the English-speaking slot and was unsuccessful. The same might happen next week. And the week after. People are deliberately kept in limbo.

Not to speak of all the refugees from other countries, whose only legal option is to seek asylum in Greece. A procedure that is equally dysfunctional. Exactly because the asylum procedure does not work, the majority of the EU countries stopped Dublin deportations to Greece.

Cynically, a reason for the dysfunctional system is to be found in the EU austerity measures forced upon Greece. They are not allowed to hire any new state employees to make the asylum procedures work. It seems that the new staff announced on the EU-Turkey summit are supposed to make the hotspots and the deportation process work, not the asylum or relocation process for people already in Greece.

Now Greece, which has proven to be incapable – made incapable – of handling a large amount of refugees, is supposed to deal with the EU’s unwillingness to meet its humanitarian and political obligations. The whole system seems to be designed not to work.

The people are forced to stay in the inhumane conditions of camps such as Idomeni and Cherso on a long term.

Meanwhile, the struggle in Idomeni is continuing. Yesterday and today, two people set themselves on fire in in protest of the hopeless situation they are submitted to. Many others have staged protest on the train tracks. The struggle of the refugees will not stop until there is a dignified possibility for them to move freely to their destination.


*Amendment: We learned that people could call in for one hour per week day to apply for the relocation programm and one hour per week for the family reunification. The incertainty about what time to call also showes the notorious chaos of the system and the lack of information available to the people in the camp.


At least the sun was shining today in the camp after a long period of cold and rainy weather. However, tensions are still high as conditions are not improving and the psychological pressure on the inhabitants of the camp is not decreasing at all. A pressure which is further increased by the people’s high expectations towards the EU summit.

Without having a finalized official statement so far, the dirty deal
between Turkey and the European Union has been decided upon today. Several newspapers already have summarized the important points of the summit (e.g. The Guardian). Despite all criticism towards it, the law-breaking and oppressive framework of the deal has not changed. And after all, for people stuck in Idomeni nothing was achieved during the meeting. None of their high expectations have been met. The only advice Angela Merkel has given to the people in Idomeni is: “I want to take the opportunity to tell the refugees at Idomeni that they should trust the Greek government and move to other accommodation where the conditions will be significantly better”.

Having in mind the apocalyptic pictures from the camp in Cherso, the ridiculous relocation efforts and the determined will of the people to continue their journey, today’s summit has once again shown that the European Union’s answers to the migrants‘ movements can only be implemented by turning Greece into a huge heavily police controlled detention zone, denying all basic rights and legal guarantees.


The atmosphere in Idomeni today was filled with anxiety and exhaustion.

Anxiety, because people are waiting for the results of the EU-Turkey summit, hoping it will bring any kind of clarification about their situation. However, hopes are not very high.

And exhaustion as the experiences of the march from Monday are still taking their toll. Our friends whom we walked with seem more tired than before. Yesterday people were still recuperating from the sleepless night after the march. Today people were not only tired but also restless. There are increased fights and tensions between people.

Another factor of anxiety and tension was the instalment of around 8 new containers in the area close to the border gate. The installation of the containers entailed an increased number of police officers in the camp. In addition to the usual black-clad officers, today there were also ones in different, military style olive-green uniforms.

Disillusion could also be heard in the increased talk about paying smugglers to bring them away from Greece. All of this, is what EU politicians’ decision to close the corridor has brought upon people.




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 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.


The Moving Europe team has gathered testimonies of people who crossed into Macedonian/FYROM territory after having taken part in a march of several hundred refugees from Idomeni camp in Greece. Near the village of Moin, Macedonia, independent observers were separated from the refugees by Macedonian military. The statements below describe the events that took place after this separation. These are testimonies from people the Moving Europe team marched with and visited again today. These people have all been pushed back illegally from Macedonia to Greece, without having been given the possibility to ask for international protection.

The first testimony is of a family of five; two adults and three children one of which is a three-month old baby. When they crossed through to Macedonia, the crowd they were in was separated into groups of about 50 people and were made to sit on the ground. Guarded by the military, they were made to sit for 10 hours outside.  They were not given any food and when they asked for water the military refused their request, even when it was to mix the water with powder for the baby’s milk.  They witnessed both women and men being beaten by the army. After the long wait, they were brought to a hole in the border fence and pushed through it back to Greece. They could see the hotel close to the official car and truck border crossing in the distance so they started walking towards it because they knew it was close to the camp. The walk back to Idomeni camp lasted 1 hour.

The second statement comes from an elderly couple, a man and a woman, who both have a heart condition. They crossed the border to Macedonia and were stopped by the army. They were kept in the village close to where they were stopped for several hours together with a group of about 100 people. At first, they were outside in the cold and wet. Then they say they were taken to some kind of shelter, where it was still very cold. Here, police and military were drinking alcohol, laughing a lot and making fun of them. The army would beat whoever spoke up against them in this setting. All the people were then loaded into an old truck and brought to the fence. Here, the couple saw the soliders cut a hole in the fence. Whilst they were being pushed back to Greece, the soldiers insulted them with animal names such as cow, dog and donkey. They also told them they were “Muslim dogs”. The walk back to the camp took them around one hour.

D, a young man told us that he crossed the river, walked some more and ended up in a village where there was Macedonian military. The military divided him and the other he was with into big groups. There were no NGOs nor the UN where they were made to wait. Eventually, the military brought them to a car and the car brought them back to the border. From the border D walked back to the camp in Idomeni. When he came back to his friends in the camp, they told him they were beaten up by the police on the Macedonian side and were told never to come back to Macedonia. He was back at the camp at 6 o’clock in the evening but he said that many kept coming all through the night, until around 2AM.

After having crossed into Macedonia, M was separated from the journalists and the activists he was with. The group he was a part of was made to sit for seven hours on the ground in the village. Whilst they were waiting in the cold, he said the group tried several times to start a fire. At first the military did not allow them to, but in the end they succeeded. “Either they would have killed us or we would have just died of the cold” he declared, “so we managed to make the fire, despite the military not wanting us to”. After seven hours waiting outside, M’s group was transported in old trucks “like the ones I saw in the films of the second war”, to a location in the mountains. M estimated that the drive lasted 30 minutes. Then the army cut a hole in the fence and pushed the people back onto Greek territory. He then had to walk for about 15 kilometres, a 4 hour walk in total, back to Idomeni camp. He ended his statement by saying “whether we make it to Europe with the relocation program or by another way, I am sure we will find our way to Europe because we are smart. The life of a refugee is very dangerous and adventurous”. M would like to write a book about his “miserable adventures” someday.


Just when we thought the conditions in Idomeni could not get any worse, they have. The rain keeps pouring down. The rivers of the region are bursting their banks and the mud is everywhere. The border is closed and people are still trying to figure out solutions for themselves, amongst the total lack of information and transport options which are available to them.

In the morning, there were protests in the camp against the distribution center. The people further illustrated that they did not want food, only for the border to open. The distribution center closed after the protests. There were also reports of protests in Polykastro, at the gas station.

The very few UNHCR members of staff onsite Idomeni are directing people to the military-run accommodations camps of the region. They say that there, the conditions are better and that people will be able to apply for the European Union relocation program. Of the five camps, which were announced in the mainstream media a few weeks ago, only two are in use at the moment. Drosato and Kentriko, two of the names cited, are not even in the beginning stages of construction and it is unclear if they will ever be built. Meanwhile, Nea Kavala, the camp closest to Polykastro has already reached its capacity. Right now it is hosting 3200 people. Furthermore the infamous gas station at Polykastro has regained importance: Around 1000 people seek shelter in the already existing infrastructures.

In Cherso, there are already 3700 people, but there is still some space for people to be lodged. But recommending anyone to go to this place would be perverse. There is about 20 centimetres of mud, caking the ground of the whole camp, including the insides of tents. The food that has been distributed there for the past days was cold and out of date. There is trash everywhere. And there are absolutely no NGOs to be seen. The UNHCR came a few days ago, walked around and left. The relocation registration promised in Idomeni by the UNHCR consists in one abandoned small white booth, forgotten in a desolate corner of the camp, next to the military quarters’ tent. The empty booth signals the wider fact that there is simply no one to talk to, to speak about your options as a refugee there. And it is yet another hint that the relocation program, however much it is spoken about, is nowhere to be found. Cherso camp is in the middle of nowhere, secluded from any form of support, whether humanitarian or legal.

The only ways to reach both of these camps is by taxi or private transport. The military says that people have to come there out of their own will, “because this is not a transit camp. The people will be here for longer.”. If all these places resemble anything, it is not a long term solution. People – both refugees and local citizens – will not accept to be kept in such conditions. There are already initiatives from the later to organise investing local inhabited houses. And people who are not satisfied by the option of the unpromising relocation program and wish to continue their journey to central Europe, will find their own way, some way or another.

Some impressions from Cherso and Polykastro  gas station today:


As the rain is not forecast to stop until Wednesday, the small tents scattered around the fields in Idomeni continue to be more and more entrenched in the mud. Further bigger tents are being erected to host people, but still a huge amount of people do not even have wooden palets underneath their minimal shelter.

The UNHCR is not registering people for the EU relocation within Idomeni camp. Instead, people are vaguely directed to the other camps in the region – with no clear indication of how to make their way – to register there. These camps are run by the military and are not closed, but access to independent observers is restricted. This is currently not the case in Idomeni where no such registration procedures exist. It is unclear what is planned with these camps. But their architecture – enclosed by a fence, with only limited access points – and especially the fact that they are heavily controlled by the authorities, raises the question as to how long they will remain open.

Despite the terrible weather and the border closure, many people are refusing to leave Idomeni. Their demands are not for better living conditions, food or for relocation elsewhere. Their steadfast claim is that the border needs to open.


The situation in the camp hasn’t changed. People still hope for the border to open as there is no information given to anyone. For now the rain has stopped, but the camp is still very muddy and as soon as the rain starts again, it is impossible to walk and build up more tents.

It is outrageous that so  many people who would so obviously be eligible for international protection are unable to access the most basic rights in this miserable setting. So much of the media focus has been on the very young who are stuck in the mud. But what also strikes us is that the elderly who made the dangerous journey to Greece are now trapped and have very little idea and means to continue on. For some, the simple act of walking is very hard. Whilst promises of free UNCHR buses have yet to materialise, the only place accessible by transport is Athens for 25euros per person with a private bus company. It is still extremely unclear how and even if one can access the other camps in the surroundings.

Meanwhile,  reports that a violent eviction of the camp is not planned so far.



The border is closed. People remain in Idomeni. They refuse to leave, they refuse to take the border closure for granted. Rain kept on falling all morning. The situation keeps on deteriorating. The distribution of non-food items is not working. People remain in semi-flooded, muddy Idomeni in their soaked clothes. Locals are bringing clothes and food, small stalls have keep popping up in the vicinity of the camp. The ADM kitchen keeps on cooking 7000 meals a day. They enable the survival of people who have to endure the situation in the camp in Idomeni. “The border has to open again. They cannot leave us here like this. Maybe on the next meeting on the 17th”, one refugee stated.

Meanwhile, independent volunteers reported that the situation in the military-run camp in Cherso, Northern Greece, is equally terrible. The camp is crowded, the living conditions are very bad and the tents there are flooded as well.

In the evening, a big demonstration took place in Thessaloniki with around 1500 participants. People took the street in solidarity with the refugees and against the racist European migration policies that leave people to a slow death in camps like Idomeni.

With all the media outlets only focussing on the humanitarian crisis in Idomeni, it is often forgotten that this situation is totally manufactured political one. If there would be no border, there would be no humanitarian crisis.


The weather conditions in Idomeni are terrible. Many tents are flooded or simply don’t fulfill their purpose anymore. Even so, some people organized a sit in on the train tracks today. But the pouring rain doesn’t make a protest against the closure of the corridor any easier.

The fact that the Balkan corridor is closed is slowly settling in. Many do not want to believe it. People in the camps are not informed about this by officials, and remain uncertain about what to believe and whether rumors are true or not. The people we were talking to today were angry and in disbelief that they are really stuck now. „The UNHCR are liars“ one person said to us. The relocation program is being advertised with flyers translated into arabic and people are able to register for it already. This is not the „miracle“ solution the authorities want to portray it as. Since the beginning of the relocation program, only 0.5% of the promised relocations have taken place; a joke considering the numbers of people who are in need of protectoion.

People were left in incertainty in the rain in the camp. Although the government has anounced an eviction of the camp, they have not even started yet to redirected people to more permanent shelters with slightly better conditions.




The Balkan Corridor will officially close from midnight on. Slovenia and Serbia announced that they will re-introduce the Schengen regime meaning only people with visas can enter their territory. Consequently, Macedonia will keep its border shut for good. Again, racist and inhuman decisions have been made on fancy conferences tables over the lives of thousands of refugees and migrants. With the definite closure of the corridor, Europe is destroying the hopes of thousands of people. All the amazing people we have met during the last weeks, who have shown an incredible amount of strength and resilience are now facing the walls of re-fortified Europe.

Germany’s decision to suspend family reunifications a few months ago forced so many women to take the perilous journey across the sea with their children by themselves. This decision is the second massive blow for them. Many have their husbands in central Europe who have been desperately waiting for their arrival for months. Their hopes of joining them quickly have just been shattered in the mud of Idomeni, giving way to despair and anger.


The atmosphere at the camp was electric today, as everyone seemed to be awaiting the conclusion of the EU summit in Brussels. There were many discussions about the political situation and the possible outcomes of the summit. People expressed their worries at being unable to continue their journey through the Balkan route if a total closure was to be announced. As things currently stand, there has been no concrete outcome of the meeting as the negotiations between Turkey and the EU have not come to a final agreement.

The heavy rains of this evening have degraded even further the already appalling conditions of the camp. In light of this and the lack of conclusions of the summit, only anger and revolt can be expected tomorrow from those subjected to the violent EU border regime. Some people have been stuck in Idomeni for close to three weeks now. They cannot wait much longer.

In the late afternoon, a couple hundred people occupied the train tracks again, demanding the border to open and denounce the electrocution of a boy on the train tracks of the camp. MSF further reported that a hunger strike had begun on the train tracks in protest to the 13 year old’s electrocution.

Some impressions of today:






Today, as usually is the case on Sundays, a lot of locals came by the camp to distribute donations to the people in there. With the sun shining, the atmosphere in the camp seemed calm and relaxed. But the nights are still freezing cold and hygienic conditions are deteriorating.

Meanwhile, reports and rumours of further restrictions are spreading. The Associated Press reported that Damascus and Baghdad have been declared ‘safe cities’ by Macedonian authorities. According to this information, people from these places are no longer allowed to pass into FYROM/Macedonia. If this measure were to be implemented, it will cause further thousands of people to be stranded in Greece. They will be stuck or have no choice but to turn to smugglers.

Fears are arising that the corridor will close completely after tomorrow’s EU summit in Brussels. Many await a change in the current ‘stuck’ situation – but hopes that the border will reopen again, are not running high.

Moving Europe in collaboration with the Travelling Bureau have produced a report on the brutal revenge against protesters conducted by the Macedonian border authorities. A leader of the recent refugee protests in Idomeni was brutally beaten after having crossed the border legally and was subsequently pushed back to Greece. He is still in hospital where his severe injuries are being treated. Read the full report here:

We denounce these acts of profound violence and intimidation conducted by border authorities and the violence of the border regime itself.


Hundreds still arrived at the camp today while only a trickle was
allowed to pass. As it is so unclear when and for how many people the border will open for, the space in front of the door to Macedonia is crammed with people camping in front of the passage. The randomness forces them into a position where they must remain alert at all times and close to the border, as they maintain a hope to pass. Given the lack of basic supplies in the camp, people
have started to organise their own supplies and make their own distribution structures.

The transit process is becoming more and more chaotic, as Macedonia is further tightening the requirements to pass. Many people were rejected by Macedonian police because of their Greek registration paper showing the 1st of January as their date of birth. Those who are rejected have to return to Idomeni to receive a new paper stating a new date of birth. According to Newsthatmoves, these measures even extend now to those having overstayed their authorised month in Greece, who are being denied entry as well. But it remains to be confirmed how this measure is implemented.

Activists have reported mass rejections at the Serbian border leading to a new bottleneck situation at the camp in Tabanovce with more than 1000 stuck people there. The reasons for those rejections are unknown so far.

The German newspaper FAZ reports that apparently nine Syrian refugees  have been shot at the Turkish-Syrian border. This shows once more the deadly price for the European Union’s collaboration with Turkey that can be expected.

All these measures and news once more show that Europe’s answer to the ongoing migrations movement(s) is nothing but sheer violence. The camp in Idomeni is a structural symbol of this.


Idomeni is currently holding at least 7 times more people than its maximum capacity. The rain has made the camp muddy and people are wading between makeshift tents and overflowing bins of trash. The police is stopping taxis from driving people over the bridge from the highway all the way to the camp, forcing all people – old, injured, pregnant and with small kids – to walk another 4 kilometers over the fields, carrying their luggage. Nonetheless, people keep arriving.

The restrictions of travel have increased again: people who stayed more than 30 days in Greece are kept from passing the border. As most people have already been in Idomeni for 10 days, and the numbers passing to Gevgelija are negligible, most people will soon no longer fulfill the requirements to travel on the corridor.

Whilst the crisis in Greece is worsening by the day, the UNHCR continues to encourage the EU relocation program which today ‘triumphantly’ announced the ridiculous number of 15 people relocated from Greece to Romania. The situation is unacceptable and such meagre measures will not solve it.


The military camps in Nea Cavala and Cherso have opened and are accommodating the first refugees arriving from Athens (map of camps in Northern Greece). Nonetheless, people keep coming to Idomeni. There are around 10’000 people in the camp now. After a rainy night, people where drying their clothes on their tents and on the barbed wire fences. Another protest took place. People are fed up of the situation. The border has to open! Some impressions of today:




Today in Idomeni hundreds of people tore through the razor fence which separated them from Macedonia/FYROM. They were met with teargas, heavy police and the military. An army helicopter was flown over the site.  „They do like Assad does“, a refugee commented.

We denounce this extreme violence deployed against people asking for the simple right to be able to travel on. There are 8000 people in the camp, and more arriving each day. Open the border!