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Greece: Deaths of suspected refugees and migrants in Evros wildfires are 'two great injustices of our time'

In response to the deaths of 19 people suspected to be refugees and migrants in the Evros wildfires, Adriana Tidona, Amnesty International’s Migration Researcher, said: 

“The 19 people killed by wildfires in northern Greece appear to be victims of two great injustices of our time - from the catastrophic climate change which governments are failing to address to the lack of safe and legal routes for some people on the move to seek asylum.

“The identities of the people killed by the fires are not known but it seems that they were refugees and migrants who had recently crossed the border into Greece. It’s also reported that hundreds of refugees and migrants are stranded in different areas of Evros while fires blaze in the region. 

“The fires have fuelled racist rhetoric and abuses against migrants and refugees with an ultra-nationalist Greek minister using racist language to claim that fires had been started by migrants and refugees.

“We are calling on the Greek authorities to urgently evacuate all those stranded in the Evros region and who are unable to move safely due to fires and to ensure that refugees and migrants who have entered Greece irregularly can seek asylum and are not illegally forcibly returned at the border.

“The Greek authorities must also publicly condemn and investigate racist violence, speech or incitement to such behaviours including on the part of politicians.”

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