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Greek security forces 'using green laser' to stop migrants at border

Greek security force members deter asylum seekers with tear gas [Anadolu/Getty]

Date of publication: 20 March, 2020

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Greek security forces are now allegedly using green lasers, which can cause permanent damage to the eye's retina, to deter migrants.
Greek security forces on the border with Turkey are reportedly using green laser to deter migrants and refugees from crossing, Turkish media reported Friday.

Turkey decided last month to re-open its border for refugees trying to reach Europe after more than 50 Turkish troops were killed by Syrian regime fire in northwestern province of Idlib.

As large numbers of migrants and refugees have gathered at the border with Greece, the Greek authorities have sought to prevent border crossings.

There have been numerous exchanges of tear gas and stones between Greek riot police and migrants, as well as reports of the use of plastic bullets.

Greek security forces are now allegedly using green lasers, which can cause permanent damage to the eye's retina, to deter migrants.

Edirne Health Director Ali Cengiz Kalkan said the use of green laser by Greek security forces can cause blindness, in commets to Turkey's Anadolu Agency.

"On the one side, there is Turkey which helps children, women and refugees; on the other side, there is Greece which brutalizes migrants," Kalkan said.

Turkey hosts some 4 million refugees - most of them Syrians - and is demanding greater assistance in dealing with the conflict in Syria and its humanitarian consequences.

So far, Europe has said it will consider taking 1,500 child refugees, but has focused more on reinforcing Greece's borders.

Read more: Refugees and democracy are dying at Europe's front door

Greece has suspended asylum procedures in a bid to prevent people entering its territory, but the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said Athens was in the wrong.

"Neither the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees nor EU refugee law provides any legal basis for the suspension of the reception of asylum applications," it said in a statement released earlier this month.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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