the forgotten Syrian refugee children on a Greek detention island
© AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris Refugees sleep outside a tent at a beach near the Souda refugee camp of Chios island, Greece, on Friday, June 9, 2017. The International Organization for Migration says more than 60,000 migrants have reached the shores of Europe so far in 2017, a sizable decrease compared to the same period last year. Rasha went missing late afternoon last Saturday. Her peers describe hanging out as normal with the 20-year-old Syrian in the Greek refugee detention camp. Then she vanished. Last Tuesday her friend Amira, 15, received a flurry of images on her phone. Rasha was lying naked in bed with a man. Superimposed upon his head were grotesque cartoon faces and an accompanying message from the anonymous caller: I promise I will kidnap you also.
This was far from being the first threat that the teenage refugee from the Syrian city of Qamishli has received since arriving on the Aegean island of Chios six months ago. Existence in the razor-wire-fenced detention centre, a former factory known as Vial, deep within the islands mountainous interior, is fraught for a child hoping for a fresh start in Europe, preferably the UK.
Fellow refugees intimidate her routinely. Men say they will attack me, they try and trap us by saying dont go to Souda [another refugee camp on the island] or go into the town. They say: If I see you there, I will attack you. I will kidnap you and kill you.
Amira is among scores of unaccompanied minors on Chios who are eligible to claim asylum in....