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Society

Greece Target? Online Movement Urges Syrians to Cross into EU 

September 20, 2022

ATHENS – Fearing a repeat of a 2020 attempt by Turkey to send 10,000 refugees across the Evros River border, Greece is looking closely at an online push urging Syrians stuck in Turkey to get into the European Union – Greece the closest entry point.

A group on the encrypted site Telegram group called Caravan of Light is trying to get Syrians in Turkey, who went there fleeing civil war in their country, to cross borders to prevent being shipped back to their homeland.

There are more than 85,000 members, said Kathimerini, the movement drawing the attention of Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis as the New Democracy government is trying to keep out refugees and asylum seekers.

The paper said that he notified UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, as well as the EU’s border patrol Frontex and the European Parliament even as Greece faces continued accusations of pushing back refugees and migrants.

One post by the group was said to be looking for refugees with healthcare experience to help assist a movement that would try to cross the borders into th EU but it wasn’t said where the attempt would be made.

Kathimerini contacted one of the group’s moderators, who responded, in writing, in fluent English, introducing himself as a 46-year-old Syrian with a graduate degree in cybersecurity.

The moderator said that the group was set up after Turkey started deporting Syrians back home while also planning a voluntary repatriation program. The Turks, he said, would leave the Syrians “at the mercy of dictator (Bashar al-)Assad” and his militias.”

He also denied any connection with Turkey or a political party. “I assure you we are not traffickers,” he said, adding that they are not funded by anyone, the report also added.

 

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