“The MSF clinic has been full all day,” said Conor Kenny, MSF doctor in Idomeni. “Three children were brought in with head injuries due to rubber bullets. People outside were shouting and many of them were carrying rubber bullets in their hands. A pregnant woman from Syria came into the clinic with her two children; she told me she was close to the border when tear gas was used to disperse the crowd, people started to run and she fell down.”

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Protests began again on Monday morning.

The United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, on Monday condemned the use of force, saying it was “a matter of great worry to UNHCR” and “should be too for all who are concerned with Europe’s response to the situation of refugees and migrants.”

“Time and again in recent months we have seen tension unfolding at various European borders, between security forces on the one hand and people fleeing war and in need of help on the other,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards. “People get hurt and property is damaged. Harm is done to perceptions of refugees and to Europe’s image alike. Everyone loses.”

What’s more, Edwards said the episode should serve as a reminder that while chaos unfolds in the Aegean islands and in Turkey, the situation is similarly desperate in Idomeni, where “about 11,000 have been sleeping for many weeks now in the open in dismal conditions, fueling hopelessness and despair.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras chimed in on Monday, saying the actions by Macedonian police brought “great shame” to Europe. Greek government spokesman George Kyritsis added: “The indiscriminate use of chemicals, rubber bullets and stun grenades against vulnerable populations… is a dangerous and deplorable act.”

Indeed, said MSF’s Hulsenbek, “What people need is to be treated with dignity, not violence or unpredictable border closures and more uncertainty. This absurd humanitarian crisis created by European states’ policies is becoming more unbearable by the day.”

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