Der SpiegelDer Spiegel

Europe's Brutal and Illegal Approach to Migration: "Our Orders Are Clear. Nobody Gets Through"

By Maximilian Popp, Ralf Neukirch, Steffen Lüdke, Katrin Elger, Sara Creta, Sara Cincurova, Giorgos Christides, DER SPIEGEL

03 Nov 2021 · 15 min read

The police intercepted him on a Sunday, shortly after midnight. Mohammmed, a slim 12-year-old from Syria with neatly parted hair, clearly remembers the bright spotlights that suddenly burst into his face.

Mohammed had spent 15 days in April wandering through eastern Greece together with his uncle and five other asylum-seekers. They had managed to cross the Maritsa River on the Greek-Turkish border before turning west, always traveling at night under the cover of darkness. For three days, as they related several days later in a bare room in Istanbul, their only sustenance was leaves and fruit.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content