A three-year-old boy pulled lifeless from the sea. In another world he might have been playing on this beach. But he and his five-year-old brother were among 12 Syrians found drowned today, washed up on Turkey’s shores as they tried to make their way to Europe and the promise of a better life.
Samer Hassan and his family know the dangers of that crossing. Hassan’s father told us their smugglers’ boat had broken down. “I was holding onto my grandchildren,” he said. “The youngest is only four and can’t swim.“
They fled Syria when their house was leveled in an airstrike. Now they’re among the thousands stranded at Budapest’s rail station.
With three young children, it’s taken them a month to get this far.
Hassan’s father is 77, his son is only four. It’s as fast as he can walk. “Exactly, exactly,” he said. For the second day, Hungarian police refused to let migrants board trains to Germany, even as more arrive by the hour.
The desperate crush of migrants has left Europe’s asylum rules in tatters, and there’s no knowing when this will be over.
To give an idea of the sheer volume of migrants beneath the station, it goes on and on as far as the eye can see in every direction. Now triple that. They have clean water, but nobody wants to spend what little they have left on food.
There are no showers, nowhere to clean themselves up and some have been here for weeks and with no plan on what to do next.
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