MSF treats hundreds after Greek-FYROM border violence

Events are latest consequences of absurd humanitarian crisis created by Europe

On 10 April, after the violent events at the border between Greece and FYROM, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams treated hundreds including around 40 people injured by rubber bullets. At least ten people have reported to MSF teams that they were beaten by FYROM police. 

Two extra mobile medical teams were added to the normal activities in Idomeni camp to assist the growing number of people in the camp.

"Today, frustration and a growing feeling of anger are spread among the refugees who have been stranded in Idomeni for over one month. What we see is the inevitable result of thousands being trapped in Greece, a country unable to respond to the humanitarian and protection needs of those in search of safety in Europe,” stated Jose Hulsenbek, MSF’s Head of Mission in Greece. "What people need is to be treated with dignity, not violence or unpredictable border closures and more uncertainty. This absurd humanitarian crisis created by European states’ policies is becoming more unbearable by the day.” 

The situation was extremely tense this morning, when tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades were used in the camp to disperse crowds. The MSF teams treated 300 people, among them 200 with respiratory problems after being subjected to teargas. 

In the MSF clinic inside the camp alone, around thirty children between five and fifteen years old received medical care after being subjected to tear gas. Two young patients reported being taken into FYROM territory, together with ten other people, where they were beaten for an hour by police. 

Over thirty patients received psychological care as they were in shock. Seven people with open wounds or suspected fractures were referred to a local hospital. 

“The MSF clinic has been full all day. Three children were brought in with head injuries due to rubber bullets. People outside were shouting and many of them were carrying rubber bullets in their hands,” said  Conor Kenny, MSF doctor in Idomeni, “A pregnant woman from Syria came into the clinic with her two children; she told me she was close to the border when tear gas was used to disperse the crowd, people started to run and she fell down.”