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Syrian refugee speaks out – ‘The police treat us like we’re animals’

This article is over 6 years, 4 months old
Issue 2470

Farid has come more than 3,000 miles from Syria to the “jungle” in the French port town Calais. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the refugees’ struggle to find safety.

“We ran away from death, only to find death waiting for us on the journey,” he said.

“I came from Syria through Turkey, then onto Greece in a small dinghy. It’s very dangerous.

“So are the police.

“When you walk up from Greece to Macedonia they hit you. 

“And in Serbia they pepper spray you in the face—just like the French police do in Calais when you try and get on the train to Britain. 

“The police act like they are dealing with animals, not people. In Hungary they put me in prison for two days, and wouldn’t give me food or water. 

“I wasn’t allowed to go to the toilet for eight hours, and it was so cold in the cell.

“When I got out I paid a trafficker to take me to Germany, but he lied and left me in Austria. I had to hide from the police, and have walked the rest of the way.

“The authorities always say, ‘You’re in a European country now, you shouldn’t keep going.’

“But I need to continue my studies, and I can’t do that in a country where I don’t speak the language. That means I need to get to Britain.”

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