“No to the Taliban,” was the chant heard Monday night in Sappho Square, on the Greek island of Lesbos, when asylum seekers gathered in a peaceful protest against the arrival of Islamist militants to power in their country.
Some 200 migrants and refugees from Afghanistan, along with some from Iran, waved Afghan flags and sang.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on Monday after President Ashraf Ghani fled. Thousands of people tried to leave Kabul, with scenes of chaos as crowds packed the airport.
“We come to show the world what is happening in my country”Amidi Rahmazolla, a 35-year-old woman, told AFP.
His family is in Kabul, his father is elderly and his brother is ill. She says they also want to get to Greece.
“The Taliban are dangerous people. They don’t want young people to go to school, women can’t go to university “, he assured.
The protesters expressed fear for the fate of their relatives in Afghanistan, some of whom have not been able to be located.
For these refugees and migrants, the last few days have been a nightmare.
“I can’t sleep, my family is sick, they need money”, said Abdul haq Salarzay, 29, who has been on the Greek island for two years.
He says he wants to borrow money from friends to take his family to Greece.
However, the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, ruled out new flows of migrants from Afghanistan.
“Our country will not be the gateway for a new wave of refugees”Mitarachi told local television on Monday.
- The shocking image of the hold of a military plane full of Afghans who managed to escape from the Taliban
He recalled that two months ago, Greece designated Turkey as a safe third country for asylum seekers, including from Afghanistan.
Asked how many people could reach Greece, Mitarachi said it would be only “a very small number”, adding that his country does not want to relive the experience of 2015, when almost a million people crossed its borders before moving on to northern Europe.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.