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  • Refugees and migrants are seen by their tents, next to an old building at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece.

    Refugees and migrants are seen by their tents, next to an old building at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece. | Photo: Reuters

Nearly 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland Greece and its islands, thanks to "Fortress Europe" policies.

A man believed to be a Syrian refugee was found hanged Monday, close to a port near Athens, Greece, with his asylum application papers in tow, Al Jazeera reported.

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Although his identity was unverifiable, Greek media said that the man was a 25-year-old refugee from Syria. The gruesome sight was first witnessed by a passerby who alerted authorities.

Nearly 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland Greece and its islands, with "Fortress Europe" keeping borders closed through anti-refugee policies. Most now live in overcrowded camps across Greece in abandoned factories or warehouses, or in tents which lack insulation or heating.

According to rights groups, many attempt to kill themselves or self-harm amid the delays, despair and destitute conditions.

"Under these conditions, tense situations could lead to such unfortunate incidents," Katsadoros, the scientific director of Klimaka's Greek Suicide Prevention Centre, told Al Jazeera.

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"And amid such large numbers, there are people who are vulnerable and in need of help — which they often can't find, unfortunately, in Greece," he added.

Poor winter conditions are also breeding miserable conditions. A mid-winter ice spell and snowstorms have gripped central and southeastern Europe for days while parts of Greece have been covered in rare snow with temperatures dipping to sub-zero temperatures.

Humanitarian aid organizations, including the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, have pressed Greece to quickly transfer those on freezing, snowbound Aegean islands to the mainland or other European countries.

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