- Title: Migrants battle cold in Serbia and Hungary
- Date: 9th January 2017
- Summary: BELGRADE, SERBIA (JANUARY 9, 2017) (REUTERS) MIGRANTS WAITING IN FOOD DELIVERY QUEUE MIGRANTS RECEIVING FOOD VARIOUS MIGRANTS IN QUEUE, WRAPPED IN BLANKETS AID WORKER DISTRIBUTING FOOD IN PLASTIC CONTAINERS VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS RECEIVING FOOD MIGRANTS SITTING BY WALL, EATING VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS EATING VARIOUS OF FOOD DELIVERY QUEUE INTERIOR OF ABANDONED WAREHOUSE, MIGRANTS STANDING BESIDE FIRE AS SMOKE FILLS THE ROOM VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS WARMING HANDS BY FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANT FROM PAKISTAN, AMIN JAHN, SAYING: "Actually, the cold is too much and last night we didn't sleep, we (were) all sitting around the fire and it was too cold, I think it was minus 16, 15 (Celsius), last night. We are here because the situation is too bad and snow is falling outside, so - try to arrange something for us, and try to open the border. It's our request." VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS LYING ON GROUND / COVERED IN BLANKETS NEAR HORGOS, SERBIA (JANUARY 9, 2017) (REUTERS) HUNGARIAN BORDER FENCE / MIGRANT CAMP MIGRANTS SURROUNDING FIRE ELDERLY MAN BY FIRE CHILDREN BY FIRE VARIOUS OF MIGRANT MAN LIGHTING FIRE CHILD EATING HOT SOUP SMOKE FROM FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANT COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE/ AFGHAN MIGRANT, MOHAMMAD MASSOUD, SAYING: "It is completely freezing, especially during the night. Nobody can stay here but we have to stay here, not only community leaders but single guys we have here, families we have here." CHILDREN WARMING THEIR FEET BY THE FIRE WOMAN WIPING CHILD'S NOSE VARIOUS OF ELDERLY MIGRANT MAN WARMING HIS HANDS BY FIRE REPRESENTATIVES OF 'DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS' TALKING WITH MIGRANTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHYSICIAN OF 'DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS', MILANA RADOSAVLJEVIC, SAYING: "Since it was minus 20 (degrees Celsius) these few days it's really cold, people are suffering from that. In the whole country there is an epidemic of influenza but still here especially people are suffering too much and (they have) a lot of respiratory infections and they are quickly going to the down (lower) respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, so it can be really bad." NEAR ROSZKE, HUNGARY (JANUARY 9, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLICE PATROLLING ALONG BORDER FENCE CAMERAS, LIGHTS AND SIREN ON TOP OF FENCE HELICOPTER IN FLIGHT
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 14:33
- Keywords: Serbia Hungary migrants border cold weather
- Location: BELGRADE, NEAR HORGOS, SERBIA/NEAR ROSZKE, HUNGARY
- City: BELGRADE, NEAR HORGOS, SERBIA/NEAR ROSZKE, HUNGARY
- Country: Serbia
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015YD0L6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Around 1,500 migrants from Asia and the Middle East found sheltering in abandoned warehouses in Belgrade in order to survive a cold snap which on Monday (January 9) brought night-time temperatures to below -20C in the region.
Hundreds of men, mainly Afghans, slept on concrete floors, burning plastic garbage to keep warm which gave off choking black smoke.
They are among 7,000 stranded in Serbia. Refugee camps are packed and only women and children are likely to be let in, leaving the men to seek shelter where they can - in abandoned warehouses in central Belgrade or the fields just south of the border.
"Actually the cold is too much and last night we didn't sleep, we (were) all sitting around the fire and it was too cold, I think it was minus 16, 15 (Celsius) last night," said Amin Jahn, from Pakistan.
"Try to arrange something for us and try to open the border. It's our request," he added.
Authorities say most of Serbia's estimated 7,000 migrants are from Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria.
Dozens of Asian, Afghan and Pakistani migrants, some with children, are camping out in makeshift tents on Serbia's northern border, waiting for their turn to try to enter Hungary.
Hungary registered 30,000 asylum applications last year, according to the government, of which fewer than half were accepted. In addition, nearly 20,000 gave up on the official process and tried to enter illegally.
In some ways, those in the tents are the lucky ones - those who are near the front of an unofficial refugee-administered queue to submit an asylum application at one of only two recognised crossing points - Horgos and Tompa.
But in the current, brutal cold snap, they pay a high price.
Their rickety teepees, lined with blankets, are heated only with campfire embers brought inside at nightfall. Many of the children who crawl outside at first light are wearing only thin sweaters and slippers.
All this to be one of the lucky few allowed to submit a Hungarian asylum application in tiny container offices set up for the purpose at Horgos and Tompa, in the hope of then being admitted to a Transit Zone, and eventually becoming one of the 10 refugees a day allowed to enter Hungary from each post.
"People are suffering too much and they have a lot of respiratory infections," said Milana Radosavljevic, a physician from Doctors Without Borders.
Hungary has made clear that it does not welcome migrants; Prime Minister Viktor Orban has fortified the border, an external frontier of the European Union, with a razor wire fence, and thousands of police and soldiers patrol the area with heat-sensitive cameras and helicopters.
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