- Title: Protesting Afghans in Greece worry for relatives, plead for support
- Date: 19th August 2021
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (AUGUST 19, 2021) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS GATHERED WITH SIGN READING: (English) "NOW WE KNOW WE CAN'T GET BACK TO HOME, THANKS NATO, EU, USA" VARIOUS OF YOUNG PROTESTERS CHANTING CHILD WITH AFGHAN FLAG CHILD SHOUTING SLOGANS INTO MEGAPHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHARIF, FROM AFGHANISTAN, SAYING: "We want everyone to hear our voice, the pain that right now we are going (through) we are bleeding, internal not external, we cannot sleep at night, what we are going through right now." PROTESTERS SHOUTING SLOGANS YOUNG GIRLS WITH AFGHAN FLAGS PAINTED ON THEIR FACES (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHARIF, FROM AFGHANISTAN, SAYING: "Right now we cannot call our families back home in Afghanistan to hear their voice, the government - I mean there is no government, the Taliban took everything, the journalists, right now they run the social media, I don't know what they are saying, what they are doing, so we have no idea what people are going through, they hide the truth." PROTESTERS SINGING WOMEN PROTESTERS SHOUTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUHELA, FROM AFGHANISTAN, SAYING, "My families that they are in Afghanistan they are not really safe and they left their home nowadays, they just left to another city just to be safe." PROTESTERS WITH PARLIAMENT IN BACKGROUND CHILD HOLDING SIGN READING: "SAVE AFGHANISTAN" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUHELA, FROM AFGHANISTAN, SAYING, "I just heard that the Greek government doesn't want any refugees more, but why? If like, your own people should be like in this situation what will you do? So they have to stand with refugees and they have to stand with Afghan people and they have to help them in this situation." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS IN SQUARE ACROSS FROM PARLIAMENT (SOUNDBITE) (English) HUSSEINI, FROM AFGHANISTAN, SAYING: "We heed help, we need support, for all Afghan people, especially for women, they don't have freedom, they want freedom, they are hiding." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING TOWARDS THE LOCAL OFFICES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOOR VE MAHMOOD FROM KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN, STARTING TO WEEP, SAYING: "It's not good, terrible is Taliban. I don't know...My family one (by one) is closing mobile, I don't know what is happening." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATING NEAR EU OFFICES, POLICE GUARDING PROTEST
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2021 15:20
- Keywords: Afghanistan Greece protests
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQY4XFR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Some 500 Afghans anxious over their relatives took to the streets of Athens on Thursday (August 19) appealing to the international community and European Union to continue to support Afghanistan and help people trying to flee the country.
"We want everyone to hear our voice, the pain that right now we are going (through,) we are bleeding...we cannot sleep at night what we are going through right now," said protester Sharif. "Right now we cannot call our families back home in Afghanistan to hear their voice."
The protesters, including children, marched to the offices of the European Union in Athens, holding a banner reading, "Now we know we can't get back home, thanks Nato, EU, USA," and demanding the bloc not close the door on refugees.
"My families that they are in Afghanistan they are not really safe and they left their home...they just left to another city just to be safe," said Souhela.
"I just heard that the Greek government doesn't want any more refugees, but why? If like, your own people should be in this situation what will you do? So they have to stand with refugees and they have to stand with Afghan people and they have to help them in this situation," she said.
One protester broke into tears as he spoke of his dismay at not being able to reach his family by phone.
An Afghan community of some 2,000 reside in Greece, but tens of thousands more Afghan refugees seeking asylum live in camps around the country after making the journey by land or sea from Turkey.
Greece said on Thursday it did not want to see a repeat of the migration crisis of 2015 when nearly one million people fleeing countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan arrived on its shores and has placed border forces on alert.
Like other European Union member states, Greece is nervous that developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of that crisis and has sought a common EU stance on the issue.
(Production: Vassilis Triandafyllou, Stelios Misinas, Deborah Kyvrikosaios)
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