No light at end of tunnel for Syrian refugees in Europe

After risking their lives and spending all they have to enter Europe, the few Syrian asylum seekers who make it to Europe find no end to their pain.

No light at end of tunnel for Syrian refugees in Europe

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the Syrian civil war rages on into its third year, around 2 million Syrians have been forced to leave their country, fleeing from the violence that has killed around 140,000 people.

While most have settled as refugees in neighboring countries Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, many thousands have risked their lives to trek across land and sea to reach Europe.

The places in the Middle-East where they have sought refuge, such as Lebanon and Egypt, have struggled to take care of their Syrian brethren, usually due to political and economic problems of their own. On the other hand, the few who have reached European countries like Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have been locked up in detention camps, deported and left to beg on the streets.

Many have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea on overcrowded fishing boats. Others have spent everything they have to people smugglers to get into Europe.

NPR news spoke to some Syrian refugees who were staying at the Friedland refugee camp in Germany. One refugee said that he had spent $7,000 in total to get from Turkey to Greece. On arrival in Greece, he and his friends were severely beaten by police.

Although he was able to process his asylum application after arriving in Germany, he expressed his fear that he would be deported, as by European laws asylum seekers are supposed to apply via the country they first arrive in.

The UN has urged EU countries to stop deporting refugees, but with political pressure from anti-immigration far-right parties as well as the woes of the Eurozone, governments are continuing in their harsh treatment of refugees.

Friedland Camp coordinator Heinrich Hoernschemeyer told NPR News that the camp currently hosts 500 refugees from 10 countries, the largest group being Syrian. He felt that more needed to be done to help those who escaped the war in Syria, saying "My parents experienced war, and there were many Germans at the time who were happy to find refuge in other countries… We should remember that."

Currently there are approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees living in Germany. Half of them have passed through the Friedland Camp.

Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2014, 13:39
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