IDOMENI, Greece - At least five migrants stuck on the Greek-Macedonian border on Monday sewed their lips in protest at not being allowed to continue their journey to Europe, AFP reporters said.

The men, who say they are from Iran and threaten to go on hunger strike, have been camping on the tracks of the railroad between the two countries since Friday. One of them wrote ‘only freedom’ on his chest while two others wrote ‘Iran’ on their chest and forehead.

Hundreds of migrants are stuck on the border after Skopje last week imposed restrictions limiting passage to those fleeing conflict zones.

Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees are allowed through but those deemed economic migrants - mainly people from Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh - are blocked.

Over a thousand people remained on the border on Monday, a few of them heading back into Greece, local police said.

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict and poverty have travelled to Greece and up through the Balkans this year, aiming to start new lives in more prosperous northern European countries, with Germany the preferred destination for many.