'Minute of silence' for Europe's refugees tops Austrian iTunes chart

By REUTERS
August 21, 2015 16:58
1 minute read.

 
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A minute's silence recorded by an Austrian artist to protest against the treatment of migrants in Europe and raise money for refugees in a center near Vienna has topped the country's iTunes chart, despite only being released on Friday.

Proceeds from Raoul Haspel's track Schweigeminute ("Minute's Silence"), which beat German DJ Robin Schulz to capture top spot through pre-orders alone earlier this week, will go towards aid for people in the asylum processing center in Traiskirchen.

More than 2,000 refugees in Traiskirchen have been sleeping in the open for weeks, braving heat of around 40 degrees Celsius and rainstorms wrapped in blankets on the grass, and Amnesty International last week called their treatment "scandalous."

Children who had fled alone from countries like Afghanistan and Syria have been offered no psychological care, women have had to use mixed showers, and a baby with a concussion was left next to a bus on a parking lot, the human rights group said.

"We have a huge humanitarian problem... babies have been born outside in a city with some of the best healthcare in the world," Haspel told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

The track was intended to give people a platform to express their discontent with Austrian and European policies on handling asylum seekers and refugees, Haspel said.

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