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Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum
Prosecution Seeks to Criminalize Saving Lives
The Need for a Regional Response to an Unprecedented Migration Crisis
Too many Syrian refugee kids still not in school; Greece accused of refugee push backs; what a post-war Syria looks like; Russia's problematic 'gay propaganda' law; 'slave labor' protests in Hungary; fire destroys ballot boxes ahead of fraught DR Congo elections; Iran's crackdown on lawyers; Central African Republic militia leader arrested in France; and how to buy jewelry during the holidays without abusing human rights...
In this special feature, Emina Ćerimović and photographer Zalmaï investigate the mental health crisis facing asylum seekers on the island of Lesbos.
The world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. How did we get there? And what can be done to find the refugees a safe home?
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Lesbos, a postcard-perfect vacation island in the northern Aegean Sea, is a haven for people fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It symbolizes the hope that somewhere in Europe there is refuge. It is also a graveyard for the countless corpses that have washed ashore on its beautiful coastline. And it’s hell for the thousands who are trapped there, victims of the European Union’s determination to stem the tide of asylum seekers and other migrants by sending a message that they are unwelcome. For all of its natural beauty, there is much fear on Lesbos. Fear caused by the traumas of war, violence and displacement and of harsh camp conditions, insecurity and uncertain futures. Fear of rejection, detention, and deportation. Fear of going to the toilet in the dark at night, or not eating after two hours in a food line. Fear of lice and scabies. Fear of winter, cold and damp.
“What will happen to us?” “Will they fingerprint us?” was the constant refrain as we watched a human wave of asylum seekers and migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan crossing the Serbia-Hungary border.
Interactive Photo Feature: Thousands of asylum-seekers, including many from war-torn Syria, arrive daily in Hungary, seeking a path to Germany and other Western European countries. Hungary has detained and at times refused to allow people to continue onwards to Western Europe, citing an EU regulation. As a result, thousands have been stranded at Budapest's Keleti train station. Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed scores. Here are their stories. >>