Fortress Europe ‘miserably failing’ Syrian refugees

Amnesty urges EU leaders to open their borders as refugees face dangerous crossings and abuse

LAST UPDATED AT 09:08 ON Fri 13 Dec 2013

EUROPE has been accused of “miserably failing” to help Syrian refugees, with Britain offering no spaces for Syrians fleeing from civil war.

Only 10 EU member states have offered resettlement or humanitarian admission places to refugees from Syria, despite a UN goal of 30,000 places, according to a report from Amnesty International.

“The EU has miserably failed to play its part in providing a safe haven to the refugees who have lost all but their lives,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general. “The number of those it's prepared to resettle is truly pitiful.”

He urged “Fortress Europe” to open its borders and offer refuge to Syrians fleeing civil war, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Of the 12,000 places offered, 10,000 have been pledged by Germany. France has offered 500 places and Spain 30. Eighteen EU member states – including the UK and Italy – have pledged no places.

The UK government says it is one of the biggest international donors to Syria. European Union aid to help Syrians stricken by civil war has reached £1.1bn, officials say.

But Amnesty claims the low chance of being granted asylum is forcing refugees to undertake dangerous boat and land crossings, in which many have died.

One 17-year-old boy told the charity that his mother had drowned when their boat had sunk in the Mediterranean. He managed to escape out of a window of the vessel, which was on its way to Italy, as others clung to dead bodies to stay afloat.

The report also claims that some of those who make it to Europe have been mistreated. One refugee said he and his group were stepped on and hit with weapons by the Greek coastguard for three hours. “Then at around ten in the morning, after removing the motor, they put us back in our plastic boat, drove us back to the Turkish waters and left us in the middle of the sea,” he said. Other refugees were found living in “squalid conditions” in Bulgaria with insufficient food, water or medical care.

Around 97 percent of Syria's refugees – estimated by Amnesty to be 2.3 million in total – have fled to five neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt since fighting began. · 

Disqus - noscript

What about the rich Arab neighbours playing their part.? Or, are the Syrians the wrong type of Muslims?

Dear all concerned,

I am so sorry,
but the answer is NO. The reason being is that it is time for the other wealthy
Islamic countries to take care of this problem for a change, why is the mess always
left to the European Countries to clean up? We are a western civilisation and
have no suitability for Islamic culture & religion (WE ARE KNOWN AS AN EVIL
CULTURE) so how can we have any suitability at all? We already have minority religions
trying to change our entire culture & traditions we don’t need any more!

Yours Sincerely,

The Sensible

Britain has donated a hughe amount of aid. There is absolutely no reason why people from Syria should be required to live in a country far away from their home region. Perhaps the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar can explain why they have been curiously reluctant to help.

Seeing as the Saudis are financing this religious civil war they and the arab league members should also be caring for the displaced civilian population,this is not our affair,we give more overseas aid than almost any other country,why should we shelter moslems,many of whom hate our guts.

We have no responsibility we - so why should we take in any. Refugees should be helped in place- otherwise millions and millions of them will just move here for economic reasons oops they have already! See I told you what would happen.
Let amnesty set up refugee camps all around Syria and do some thing worthwhile for a change.

It's never pleasant to see such hardship, but I'm relieved the UK has not offered any places because, as has been stated, we're full up.

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