IDOMENI, Greece – Hundreds of protesting migrants whom Macedonia refuses to let in because it does not consider them legitimate asylum-seekers are blocking a railway line at the Greek-Macedonian border.
Greece's railway company said 10 scheduled freight train departures for Macedonia have been canceled over the past day due to the protest.
Up to 1,000 people, mostly Iranians, Pakistanis and north Africans, have erected tents round the railway line and are blocking the tracks. Macedonia is only allowing in nationalities that it considers to be legitimate refugees — Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis — some 400 of whom entered the country Friday.
"I've been here for two days," said Elyas, 28, from Iran. "I want to join my family in England. They are expecting me."
Fellow Iranian Mehdi, 19, held up a placard that read "Where is humanity?"
"Are we Iranians not human?" he said. "How can the Germans accept us, and not these people (Macedonians)? I am a Christian and face persecution in my country."
Neither gave their surname, citing their fear of Iranian authorities.
Iranians and others have been trapped at Idomeni since Macedonia and other countries on the Balkan refugee corridor adopted the new policy Thursday.
Those that are let through continue their journey north by train from Macedonia's nearby Gevgelija station, heading for Germany or other wealthier European Union members.