- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Refugees and migrants are sharing and seeking pointers on how to cross into Macedonia from Greece as Macedonia tightens its border policies to combat the growing refugee crisis.

In hundreds of Facebook posts on boards frequented by asylum seekers, migrants and refugees are advising those trying to enter Macedonia to tell border authorities that they are coming from war zones, delete any video footage of fighting from their phones and to log out of Facebook so authorities can’t access their social media accounts, Vocativ reported.

“Brothers, please log out of Facebook on your phone and delete anything that might get you into trouble (such as) war and massacre footage,” Mohammed Isa, from Syria, wrote in one of the largest Facebook groups for asylum seekers on Sunday, according to Vocativ. “There’s a very strict inspection process, be careful.”

Mr. Isa also warned that border authorities are checking the dates on documents that migrants received when they first entered Greece, perhaps to give older arrivals priority.

“Now they are admitting people according to the date on the Greek papers they received when they entered the country. Today they are entering those who arrived by February 18,” one post reads, according to Vocativ. “There’s an important thing you must know. There’s a very strict inspection now. They even check your phones. I’m asking you guys who are stuck on the border to send us photos and videos, I will upload them. Good luck.”

It is unclear if the tips shared on these Facebook groups can actually speed up the process for migrants and refugees seeking entry into Macedonia. Many of the posts sharing advice went viral, according to Vocative, highlighting the sense of desperation and hunger for information as more and more refugees become stranded on the border.

Greek officials said that 13,000 asylum seekers were stranded at the overflow Idomeni cam at the Greece-Macedonia border as of Saturday. 

On Sunday, Macedonia imposed stricter border restrictions, allowing only migrants coming from cities directly affected by war to enter the country, the Associated Press reported.

 

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