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Press Release

International Rescue Committee responds to reports of violence on the northern borders of Greece

In the informal camp of Idomeni, an estimated 11,000 people wait by the closed border between Greece and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia Macedonia. Refugees today reported widespread use of tear gas and rubber bullets as some people protested at the border fence.

Jane Waite, Deputy Director of International Rescue Committee in Greece, responds from northern Greece:

“Refugees are telling our teams that tear gas filled areas where vulnerable people are camped near the border – women, children and the disabled. Men were left choking and collapsed to the floor. These are people that have fled homes destroyed by war and travelled in desperation to seek safety. Yet now they face new dangers. Lack of information means that many do not know their options, with access to asylum officials available only via Skype in camps with intermittent electricity and internet connection. Safe routes for refugees must be created and soon – the current EU-Turkey agreement is illogical and the cracks are already beginning to show.”

Read more about the IRC’s response to the Europe Refugee Crisis.

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.