Idomeni camp 'big violation of human rights': Ai Weiwei

Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:05am EST
 
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IDOMENI, Greece - - Chinese artist Ai Weiwei visited Greek border camp Idomeni on Wednesday, where some 14,000 people are stranded following new border restrictions along the Balkan migration route.

The artist walked around the makeshift camp where he said he was witnessing a "huge, big violation of human rights" in the middle of Europe.

"What we have seen here is almost unbelievable," he said.

"It's just in the rain, in the cold, and women, children, all the people waiting for some bread, or some dry clothes, and this is a very sad situation and people have no hope because the door is closed, totally shut off...I think this is a huge, big violation of human rights, right in front of us."

People fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond have flooded into Europe since early 2015, most making the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece, then heading north through the Balkans.

But border shutdowns have caused the blocking of the so-called 'Balkans corridor' and more than 34,0000 people are now trapped on Greece's islands and mainland.

EU leaders are aiming to work out key details of a draft deal with Turkey to stem the influx into Europe at a March 17-18 summit.

 
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei speaks to migrants as he visits a makeshift camp on the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece, March 9, 2016. Ai is in Greece to shoot a documentary. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov