Refugee stories from Eastern Europe

December 2, 2015
Refugees 25

Iranian protesters sew their lips shut and tie nooses around their necks.

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Editor’s Note: As the refugee crisis in Europe has morphed into a political issue in the United States, CCN reporter Josh Friedman has traveled Eastern Europe, meeting refugees and watching the waves of mass migration. The following is the first of two articles on Europe’s refugee crisis. The names of the refugees are not being published either in the article or captions to make it more difficult for them to be targeted.

An Afghan man is seeking refuge after the Taliban chopped his hand off because he was an Afghan government worker. A Syrian man speaks of Hezbollah razing his village and a Pakistani says he is running away from bombs and targeted killings.

In the refugee camps of Eastern Europe, refugees tell stories of war, oppression and terror. CalCoastNews cannot independently verify most of the stories, but many refugees say they are fleeing imminent death in their home countries.

“If we see you again, we will kill you, and we will kill all of your family members,” Taliban fighters allegedly told the Afghan after cutting off his hand.

Missing Hand

The Taliban allegedly cut off this man’s hand.

The man’s crime was that he worked for the Afghan government, the man’s cousin says.

A second group of Afghans also say that the Taliban kills people who work for the Afghan government. ISIS does, too, they add.

“ ‘Why you working in the government? Why are you working with the Americans? Why are you working with the foreign people?’ ” Taliban and ISIS militants reportedly say.

As Syria’s four-year-old civil war continues, the Taliban continues the fight in Afghanistan, religious groups clash and ISIS battles to create a caliphate, refugees have poured into Turkey and Europe.

Syrians currently in Europe and Turkey have said the Assad regime, ISIS and other militant groups have forced them to leave their homes. One such group is Hezbollah, which fights on the side of the Syrian government.

A refugee from Syria said Hezbollah raided his village. They took over the land, houses and buildings. The man’s brother was shot in the neck, and he died 20 days later in the hospital, the refugee said. The deceased man’s son is accompanying his uncle and other relatives on the journey to Europe.

Some refugees escaped their countries only to die along the way.

Thousands of refugees have tried to cross the Mediterranean or from Turkey to Greece in inflatable boats. Hundreds died at sea in 2015.

Others have risked their lives as some governments use violence. There are reports that Iranian police opened fire on Afghan refugees. Afghan refugee Mujeeburahman Malikzada said he witnessed Iranian police shoot and kill three of his friends.

 

Bulgaria Beating

Bulgarian police allegedly beat this refugee.

The trouble continues for some upon arriving in Europe, they say. Bulgarian border police allegedly extorted money from the group of Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban violence and beat one of them. He showed the scars and bruises on his face to a reporter.

Another refugee walking around a makeshift campground in spent about a year in Bulgarian jail, he said.

Human rights groups have accused the Bulgarian police of beating refugees and demanding bribes. One refugee recently died after a warning shot fired by a Bulgarian officer reportedly ricocheted and struck the migrant, the Guardian reported.

In September, Hungary sealed its border with Serbia. The move rerouted refugees through Croatia. Hungary then sealed its border with Croatia.

Some countries in Central Europe like Germany, the most popular destination for refugees, followed suit and imposed border controls. Following the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks, the border controls increased and several European states changed their policies on asylum claims.

A logjam of refugees has since built up in the Balkans. Numerous refugees became trapped at the Greek-Macedonian border after several governments decided to stop accepting refugees who come from countries other than Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, refugees from Iran conducted a hunger strike in no man’s land between Greece and Macedonia. Some of the Iranian refugees sewed their lips shut in protest of the Macedonian government’s decision to block the border.

Lip Stitches 2

Iranian protesters sew their lips shut.

Clashes ensued between some of the refugees and Macedonian police. Macedonian soldiers are putting up a fence on the border.

It is unclear how Europe will handle the refugees who have arrived but are not eligible for asylum. Winter is coming, and snow has begun to fall in the Balkans.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Rambunctious says:

    Howdy neighbor…

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. achillesheal says:

    Maybe it’s time these people organize, stand and fight in their own countries. Just a thought.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  3. Reality Check says:

    Well done, Josh Friedman! Will the next part of your article include information about the number of single, military aged migrants? The abrasion of vastly different cultures trying to accommodate migrants is also worth a discussion.

    A problem with these mass migrations into Europe is the lack of assimilation. If Muslims come to Western countries and desire assimilation, migrate away. However, as the uprisings of French-Born-Muslims in Paris a few years ago proved lack of assimilation resulted in burning and terrorizing. These people had not assimilated and lived in the equivalent of ghettos within France.

    The recent terrorist attacks in Paris showed at least one terrorist using Syrian passport. The mass migrations are a treat to all Western Countries. ISIS is serious about over running all Western Countries. What better way than sending their militants into the Countries who have graciously and naively opened their borders?

    What would happen if all these migrants banded together in their own countries and fought the Taliban and ISIS, etc.? Fighting to take back their own Country from evil could create a positive new paradigm.

    (16) 22 Total Votes - 19 up - 3 down
  4. isoslo says:

    It is interesting that our government wants to help foreign refugees but fails in their efforts to help their own citizens. Let’s start by taking care of our own first. I feel for people in foreign lands where they are mere victims of whatever is going on. I wonder how it got so bad for them. Could it ever get that bad here? I believe that people in these foreign lands failed to fight back when little things started happening. Afghanistan did not become what it is overnight. The people failed to stand up to oppression from the beginning. Please do not let that happen here in America. We need to stand up to our government when they try to take away our ability to oppose what we do not want. Do not allow yourselves to be deprived of your rights.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • AmericaBeautiful says:

      Agreed. Take care of OUR Veterans, our Disabled, our elderly before we throw our tax money away on people whose own governments and taxpayers are responsible for them, and that includes Anchor Babies of /and Illegals from mexico, etc.

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  5. Kevin Rice says:

    Wow! This is award-winning reporting! I haven’t seen anything like this from the worldwide news agencies. Josh should get an award for this. Incredible.

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  6. Citizen says:

    Angela Merckel says that they will not take Afghan refugees but they are still expanding their Syrian refugee numbers. Why?

    The US would not take many of the AFghan people who helped the US, and is not taking the Iraqi people who helped us in Iraq. Why? These people have proven their friendship with the US and their lives are in danger.

    But Obama and the UN want us to take unvetted (the FBI says that new Syrian refugees cannot be vetted) Syrian refugees. ISIS vows to infiltrate the refugees with their fighters.

    Why are we denying access to our proven “friends”, and allowing access for others that we know nothing about?

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
    • Kaiser Bill says:

      In what way are the Afgans and the Iraqis our “friends”?

      You may want to ask several thousand dead American servicemen if the Iraqis and Afghans were friendly.

      ISIS operates in Iraq as well as Syria. The Taliban has been operating in Afghanistan since the 80s when the United States stupidly funded Moslem terrorists like Bin Laden to fight the Soviet Union.

      The United States should take zero refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

      Unless of course the United States wants a repeat of the Boston Marathon bombings where the terrorists where Moslem fanatics posing as “refugees” from Chechnya. The Russians warned us about those scumbags but we refused to listen!

      (5) 25 Total Votes - 15 up - 10 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        The US shouldn’t take in any foreign scumbags until we attend to our own domestic scumbags.

        (18) 28 Total Votes - 23 up - 5 down
      • zaphod says:

        We incited a conflict with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan 1978 with secret terrorists that we derived from Egyptian prisons the Democratic Republic fell to freedom fighter s who set up fiefdoms ,the talib fought the war lords and opened the roads from kandahar kabul defeating the remenantsof Reagan’s freedom fighters. Establishing the Islamic republic of afghanistan. “Who cares about abunch of pissed off moslems? Was the rational at the time,similar to AIDS ” there’s a virus that’s only killing gay men? What’s the problem hahaha quotation mark. So the weapon that we used to defeat the Soviet Union is now aimed at us

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
        • Kaiser Bill says:

          Yes, and government and Hollywood propaganda like “Charlie Wilson’s War” with Tom Hanks continues to paint the covert funding of radical Moslems in Afghanistan as a wise Cold War proxy war. I think some of the people who died on 9/11 would dispute that if they could.

          (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  7. Kaiser Bill says:

    They could be ISIS.

    The Paris attacks are proof of that.

    The vast majority of these “refugees” are young men, contrary to what the media shows you of images of babies and families. These young men should be fighting to improve their own countries, rather than surging into Europe looking for a handout.

    (29) 43 Total Votes - 36 up - 7 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Hmmmm …YOU could be a White supremacist.

      Guess who I’m more concerned about ( and prepared for ) here .

      The phony ‘conservative’ ‘mind’ is heartless and shameless.

      (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
      • Kaiser Bill says:

        There are no facts in your post so I think its safe to say you know nothing about Moslem immigration to Europe.

        Fact: Some of the terrorists who committed the Paris attacks were from Syria and were ISIS.

        But yeah, we should be worried about white people living in Europe, in their own countries. After all, so many of the problems and violence in the world today are caused by European people and not Moslems.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.