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Five-year-old Syrian refugee stranded on Greek islet 'dies from scorpion sting'

A five-year-old Syrian refugee is believed to have died on Tuesday on an unnamed Greek islet in the Evros River from a scorpion sting, according to reports.

The young girl was among a group of 39 refugees and asylum seekers, who claim she died after the incident, Al Jazeera reported.

The group say they were forced onto the islet by Turkish authorities on Sunday and that a nine-year-old girl is in critical condition after also being stung by a scorpion and "might die tomorrow".

Greek authorities have been notified of the group's location, but officials say they have not yet found the refugees.

"A girl died. A child. She’s dead. I can do nothing," Baida, 27, who is one member of the group, sent in a WhatsApp voice note to a group of journalists, as she questioned why the children have not received any help.

The five-year-old's parents - also part of the group, who are hoping to claim asylum in Greece - have submerged her body in river water with the aim of keeping it cool.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) told The New Arab that they have "processed several requests for interim measures lodged by persons on the land border between Greece and Türkiye since March 2022".

"The Court decided to indicate to the Government of Greece not to remove the applicants from Greece and to provide the applicants, with food, water and adequate medical care," they stated, adding that the "most recent decision with regard to such requests was rendered on 9 August 2022".

Earlier this year, Greece's Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said tens of thousands of irregular migrants had been stopped from coming into the country at the Evros border area in 2022.

In response to the increased crossings from Turkey into Greece via the river, Athens announced plans to increase border patrols at the Evros.  

The most common sea route for asylum-seekers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa has been from Turkey to the nearby Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

But with Greek authorities increasing patrols in the area and reports of summary deportations of new arrivals to Turkey, many are now attempting the much longer, and more dangerous, route directly to Italy. 

Greek authorities deny they carry out illegal summary deportations of asylum seekers.

The New Arab contacted the ECHR and UNHCR Greece for comment.

The New Arab
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