01 April 2016
Macedonian police use teargas on migrants at Greek border (Reuters, link): "Macedonian police used teargas to push back hundreds of migrants from a border fence on Sunday at a sprawling refugee camp on the Greek border, a Reuters witness said.
Teargas was fired on a crowd of more than 500 people who had gathered at the frontier at the makeshift camp of Idomeni. A Greek police source said there was "tension" in the area but declined to comment further."
See: Leaked Skopje letter exposes ‘closed borders’ coalition (7.3.16, euractiv, link): "EXCLUSIVE / A list of requests to protect external borders recently sent to several member states by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has exposed the weaknesses of the group of countries blocking an EU-wide solution of the refugee crisis... Balkan states met in Vienna on 24 February to discuss possible solutions to the refugee crisis in the Western Balkans region, including closing borders. Greece was not invited. Hosted by Austria’s EPP-affiliated foreign and interior ministries, the meeting, attended by Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia...
A week later (1 March), police chiefs from four Balkan countries — Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia — along with Austria, the Dutch presidency and Hungary, met in Belgrade...The former Yugoslav republic sent a detailed 12-page letter to several member states describing its needs, in order to have its southern border under full control....It also asks for equipment to be used for crowd control, and the monthly expenses for personnel, vehicles, and the technical capability of an army to be fully covered....In Annex No 3, “Equipment for crowd control”, Macedonia requests special bombs (shock, with rubber balls) pepper spray and crowd control dispensers."
See Annex 3: Equipment for crowd control (pdf) which countries supplied: "crowd control dispenser" "pepper sprays", "Tasers", "rubber bullets", "acoustic device to break up mob", "Launcher (grenade with rubber balls)"?
See Footnote: "The table contains individual and collective equipment for a platoon to deal with crowd"
See also: Migrants clash with police on Greece-FYROM border (ekathimerini.com, link): "Clashes continued into the afternoon, and the wind brought tear gas fumes into a nearby makeshift camp on the Greek side of the border holding over 11,000 stranded migrants. Many people, including small children, who were not involved in the clashes, were suffering from respiratory problems.
Volunteer doctors were treating several dozen migrants with respiratory problems, slight injuries from the plastic bullets and facial injuries from close quarter clashes when the fence was temporarily breached, Achilleas Tzemos, deputy field coordinator of Doctors Without Borders told The Associated Press. He said three were referred to hospitals."
See Electra (link)
"We kindly request Médecins du Monde Greece, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Save The Children, and volunteer doctors on Idomeni camp, once they finish treating people / referring them to hospitals, to communicate with me. A massive appeal for investigation, accountability and urgent respect to fundamental rights has been addressed to Greek and F.Y.R.O.M.'s authorities concerning today's events at Idomeni and the teargas bombing of vulnerable persons (among which thousands of children, and persons with compromised health and disabilities) in tents, who did not participate in any hostile act towards border's officials.
The report and urgent request to FYROM, submitted by me as authorized by -among others- 26 single refugee mothers with seventy children- is also being sent to the Office of the Special Representative of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Commission in Skopje, and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - OSCE in Skopje.
All those holding documentation (pictures, videos, testimonies etc.) concerning today's events are also invited to send us relative information, with a note that we can use it in front of national and supra-national authorities, in the email email@example.com."
And see: Macedonian police use teargas on migrants at Greek border (Reuters, link): "Macedonian police used teargas to push back hundreds of migrants from a border fence on Sunday at a sprawling refugee camp on the Greek border, a Reuters witness said. Teargas was fired on a crowd of more than 500 people who had gathered at the frontier at the makeshift camp of Idomeni. A Greek police source said there was "tension" in the area but declined to comment further."
Macedonia police deploy tear gas on refugees at Idomeni (DW, link): " For the first couple of hours the protests were calm. After speaking with Greek police, five refugees even agreed to go to the border to negotiate with the Macedonian authorities. "We are not the ones who keep the borders closed," a Macedonian police officer said with the help of an English-speaking interpreter. "We are following Europe's orders. Please remain calm and peaceful and do not try to break the fence."
One of the representatives responded: "We understand, and we want to be peaceful. But behind me there are 10,000 people - refugees who are fleeing war - and they have been here for months now. We want a solution."" Ten minutes later the clashes broke out."
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