Europe’s bloody border

The BBC had a troubling broadcast about Syrian refugees trying to move from Turkey into Europe via Greece, for example across the Evros river or to the island of Lesbos. These are mostly Christian Syrians who have no future in mostly Islamic Turkey and who see no point in waiting till the fighting in Syria comes to an end.

A disturbing scene is of Adib Hachach who can’t control his tears, “a Syrian who has lived in Athens for 12 years, [who] received a call from the coastguard at Lesbos, to collect the bodies and belongings of his brother Omar, his sister-in-law and their three young children, all of whom had drowned.”

The accusations are that the Greek coastguard pushes boats back into Turkey’s waters, and that sometimes boats may capsize.

We are reminded of the flow of refugees from Libya to Italian Lampedusa, that started in 2011. Or, indeed, much earlier, when Vietnamese fled when the North conquered the South. A google gives us even a website on migrants at sea, managed by law professor Niels W. Frenzen, of the Gould School of Law, University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.

There is a link to the issues in my own weblog. In a way it is simple. When unemployment is solved then there will be less need for people to migrate. In another way it is complex, with all the other factors and relations involved.

For Dutch readers there is this special discussion about rising racism in Holland, in relation to this protest against censorship of science. 

It may sound preposterous but to help the refugees around the Mediterranean it is a good move to start boycotting Holland. It will be too late for Adib Hachach and his family, but it will be important for many other people.

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