04:18 GMT15 June 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Refugees on the Greek island of Chios have told Sputnik they are "desperate and disappointed" following a visit from a representative of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who gave them "the same answers".

    Wassim Omar and his wife and three children left Syria on 10 March 2016 and traveled to Greece from Turkey where they remain in limbo on the island of Chios.

    Chios hunger strike
    © Photo : Wassim Omar
    Chios hunger strike

    Following a visit from an UNHCR representative and a translator, Omar told Sputnik that the refugees still have no idea what is going on.

    ​Omar and a group of parents have been on hunger strike for two weeks to highlight their plight.

    "We, the refugees, told him [UNHCR representative] that a month ago the situation was the same and we got the same answers, then he left us desperate and disappointed again," Wassim told Sputnik.

    "He stressed that there are very few employees in the Greek asylum service."

    "The representative told us there are only three people working for the Greek authorities and just two people working for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), while the UNHCR are trying to push things forwards."

    Refugees at the migrants camp in Chios, Greece.
    © Photo : Wassim Omar
    Refugees at the migrants camp in Chios, Greece.

    Following the European Union's one-for-one refugee deal with Turkey, allowing Greek authorities to deport 'irregular migrants' back to Turkey, the so-called hotspots set up on Greek islands to process asylum seekers are still not functioning properly.

    ​Volunteers and doctors working on the islands of Chios and Lesbos told Sputnik that people are being detained in unsanitary and filthy conditions without knowing their fate which has led to chaotic and often violent situations.

    ​Refugees held for more than 25 days are still unable to leave the islands — and after 14 days of hunger strike the situation of the Syrian parents in Chios is becoming more desperate every day.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


    Paying the Price: Greek Refugee Hotspots 'Swelling' After EU-Turkey Deal
    EU Struggles to Set Up ‘Hotspots’ for Refugees Fleeing Syrian Violence
    Italy Ready to Establish Hotspots for Refugees
    Syrian refugees, Greek crisis, hotspots, hunger strike, chaos, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), European Union, Chios Island, Europa, Turkey, Syria, Greece
    Community standardsDiscussion