Executive Summary for September 22nd

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a report on “appalling” conditions for refugees in Greece, the rising death toll from a migrant shipwreck and a top European official condemns anti-Muslim migration policies.

Published on Sep. 22, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Amnesty: Greece ‘Has Become a Warehouse of Souls’

A new report by international human rights group Amnesty International details the “immense and avoidable suffering” of refugees stranded in Greece.

Nearly 60,000 people are stuck in Greece after other European countries closed their borders earlier this year.

The Amnesty report documents refugees who are suffering from severe health problems, including acute stress and depression, and their dire living conditions.

The human rights group slammed Europe for failing to share responsibility for refugees in Greece. European leaders last year pledged to relocate 66,400 people over two years; so far some 5,000 have been relocated.

“Greece has become a warehouse of souls,” Amnesty U.K.’s refugee program director Steve Symonds said. “The appalling conditions facing women, men and children trapped there in limbo are a result of the shameful collective failure on the part of European leaders.”

Hundreds Feared Dead After Migrant Shipwreck Off Egypt Coast

A day after a migrant boat sank off the coast of Egypt, hundreds of passengers are still feared to be missing.

The boat was carrying between 250 and 600 people, according to various estimates, who were trying to flee to Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

Egyptian rescue workers were able to save some 160 people, and have so far recovered 52 bodies, Reuters reported.

Egypt arrested four suspected crew members on the boat on charges of human trafficking and manslaughter, and issued arrest warrants for five others.

Survivors of the shipwreck told the Associated Press that the boat capsized when smugglers tried to load hundreds more passengers onto the vessel at sea, and most of the dead were women and children who were not able to swim.

Top E.U. Official: Anti-Muslim Migration Policy ‘Unacceptable’

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has criticized European countries that refuse to accept more refugees on the basis of religion.

“Some countries do [share responsibility for refugees arriving in Europe], others say no because they are Catholic and they don’t want Muslims,” Juncker said at a Brussels meeting. “This is unacceptable because they are not [only] Muslims but human beings.”

Several countries in central and eastern Europe have refused plans to redistribute refugees around the continent. Hungary’s government, which has fanned fears of Muslim immigration, is urging the country to reject E.U. relocation quotas in a referendum next month.

The low rate of relocations in Europe have caused a large backlog of asylum requests in Greece and Italy, the two European nations most refugees reach first by boat.

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