March for refugees rights

March for refugees rights


Dozens of asylum seekers in Germany defied an order restricting their freedom of movement and marched 500 km across the country to protest against what they say is inhumane treatment by the authorities.

. PETZOW, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

On their long trek, the marchers called for better living conditions and an end to deportations for refugees in Germany.

. FERCH, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

"We are marching because we want freedom and respect", declared Turkish refugee Turgay Ulu, who said he was jailed in Turkey for his political convictions.

. PETZOW, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The marchers, from Africa, Asia and Latin America, started their walk in the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg in September 2012 and reached the German capital the following month.

. PETZOW, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Germany currently provides support for some 130,000 refugees.

In July 2012, its Constitutional Court told lawmakers to modernise archaic rules dictating how much money asylum seekers should receive, pointing out that the amount had not changed in 19 years and was still denominated in defunct German marks. However, the government has not yet made the required changes.

. PETZOW, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Refugee Salaman, who said he worked as an anti-corruption activist in Benin, said he took part in the march "to protest against the injustice we endure in the camps."

"It is no longer acceptable. The situation in the camps makes people sick. We are young and talented people. But we are excluded from society. We have no prospects in life. That's why we march on behalf of all refugees. We call it the march of freedom," he said.

. BORKHEIDE, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Iranian refugees sleep during a rest on the long march.

. BERLIN, Germany. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The refugees, along with 150 supporters, ended their march on October 5 2012, finally crossing into Berlin.