MINNEAPOLIS — Three actors from the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones” demanded better treatment for refugees after visiting some of the camps where victims of the Syrian civil war have found shelter.
On June 30, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams and Liam Cunningham visited camps in Greece operated by the International Rescue Committee to raise awareness about the plight of refugees.
“There are people in these camps who are oncologists, judges, successful people who have had everything taken away from them,” said Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth on the show, in an interview with AJ+.
— IRC Intl Rescue Comm (@theIRC) June 30, 2016
The world is facing a massive refugee crisis, with the United Nations estimating some 60 million people were displaced by the end of 2015. Fleeing the Syrian civil war or other conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Africa, many refugees flood into Greece, where they end up in refugee camps awaiting asylum or deportation. A deal forged in April to deport refugees to Turkey has faced widespread criticism, and many fear the refugees will be forced back to Syria.
“They’re just people like you and me,” Williams, who plays Arya Stark, said. “And they don’t want to live in a different country their whole life. They want to go home, but they can’t because we’ve destroyed it.”
Williams also recounted her meeting with a 21-year-old woman with plans to attend college:
“She’s had that all taken away from her and you are worried she wants to come and take from your country. She’s just a girl.”
In addition to mishandling the Syrian refugee crisis, the U.S. and its NATO allies have also been accused of causing the instability which led to the flood of asylum-seekers on Europe’s shores. Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and recent diplomatic maneuvering in the region support the theory that the West seeks to control Syria’s valuable energy reserves and strategic placement for fossil fuel pipelines. Steve Chovanec, in a March 2015 analysis for MyMPN, the MintPress News blog, noted that plans for Syrian regime change go back decades:
“Long before any outrage was generated at Assad’s crackdown of protesters, and long before any pretexts or justifications were concocted, it was already decided that the US would attack and topple the Syrian government, going at least as far back as 1991. The intention of regime change came first, propaganda and pretexts came later.”
Cunningham said refugees were suffering “not because of an earthquake, not because of a tsunami, not because of a famine, [but] because people in offices in capitals around the world have decided to visit them with cruelty.”
He continued: “I’d love to grab them by the back of their neck and bring them into the camps and just say look, look what you’ve done.”
I have met some incredible, strong people today. People who need us to stand in solidarity.
— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) June 30, 2016
“The enormity of the loss of humanity that’s at stake, you know, if we don’t do something,” said Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” “We’ve just stopped them living.”
“Headey said the visit had been life changing and promised it would not be the last the public heard from them on the subject,” The Guardian reported.
Watch The cast of Game of Thrones visited refugees in Greece:
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