Rabat - A 29-year-old Syrian refugee set himself on fire at a migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios, giving in to his despair over trying to obtain asylum, the Greek news agency ANA reported. The incident occurred on Thursday.
Rabat – A 29-year-old Syrian refugee set himself on fire at a migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios, giving in to his despair over trying to obtain asylum, the Greek news agency ANA reported. The incident occurred on Thursday.
In gruesome footage originally posted on Twitter by the BBC’s Greece correspondent; the young man appears holding a petrol can and addressing camp residents, before being approached by a police officer. The young unidentified migrant proceeds to pour a flammable liquid over his body before setting fire to himself, police said.
The police officer was able to reach the young man but the Syrian refugee was ultimately admitted to hospital with injuries to over 90 percent of his body, according to the ANA. The policeman who rescued the man was also hospitalized with burns following the incident.
Approximately 14,000 migrants, including Syrians who escaped the civil war-driven destruction at home, seek asylum while living in camps on Greece’s eastern islands, after they have crossed the sea from Turkey. According to the United Nation’s refugee agency, the number of refugees who have escaped to Syria’s neighboring countries has exceeded five million for the first time since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.
2017’s first three months saw more than 250,000 additional Syrians register as refugees, raising the total number to 5.1 million, the UN’s agency continued, without providing an explanation for the apparent surge. “It’s not about the number, it’s about the people,” insisted Babar Baloch, agency spokesman. He noted the conflict has now lasted longer than World War II.
“We’re trying to look for understanding, solidarity and humanity,” he added. Turkey is the highest recipient of the number of Syrians – approximately three million people Since February, Turkey has seen an increase of 47,000 more refugees.