Tag Archives: Aegean Islands

#AgathonisiShipwreck: The case file

Via Refugee Support Aegean On 16 March 2018, a refugee boat sank near the Greek island of Agathonisi. Sixteen persons perished and at least three are missing. The survivors and relatives’ testimonies along with text messages sent to the Greek coastguard point towards a significant delay from the side of the Greek authorities in launching a search and rescue operation.

>From the early days of the tragedy, Refugee Support Aegean provides legal and psychological support to the shipwreck survivors and relatives of those who lost their lives. In this detailed case file, you can see how this tragedy unfolded.

Read the full story here >>

Continue reading #AgathonisiShipwreck: The case file

Number of Migrants, Refugees Trapped on Greek Islands Reaches New High

Via Greek Reporter – A total of 17,771 migrants and refugees are in reception and registration centers as well as other structures on the five Greek islands that host asylum seekers, new data show.

The new figures released by the Ministry of the Interior show that Lesvos is the island that is dealing with the majority of the migrant inflow, with 9,472 refugees and migrants in various places.

Continue reading Number of Migrants, Refugees Trapped on Greek Islands Reaches New High

HarekAct Newsletter V – April, May, and June 2018

Developments on the Greek Islands

In mid-April, after a court decision, the news that the restriction of movement to the mainland for all migrants arriving on the Greek islands from then on had been lifted made the headlines. Hopes were high of these developments among refugees and their supporters. However, the Greek government quickly issued an administrative decision only a couple of days later, reinstating the former policy, known as the “containment policy” that is responsible for the terrible conditions many migrants face.

Meanwhile, in the four-day trial against the #Moria35 in April, 32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted of injuring police officers. The process was politically motivated from the very beginning with almost no proof against the defendants. They were collectively convicted to a 26 months suspended prison sentence, though this penalty is temporarily suspended, since their lawyers lodged an appeal against the decision. Valeria Hänsel, who contributes to HarekAct, drawing on her insights on the situation of refugees on Lesvos and focusing on their detention and deportations, wrote a report about the trial, that we published on HarekAct (in German). Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter V – April, May, and June 2018

REACTION TO ANNOUNCEMENT TO CLOSE PIKPA CAMP

Bild könnte enthalten: eine oder mehrere Personen und im Freien

Lesvos solidarity – Pikpa published a call for solidarity:

The North Aegean regional governor announced the closure of Pikpa camp on the basis of a report by the health inspection which found shortcomings in the common kitchen handled by the residents, a broken net in the food distribution area and a leakage to a water tank for washing machines. For these reasons, it considers Pikpa dangerous to public health and the environment. Continue reading REACTION TO ANNOUNCEMENT TO CLOSE PIKPA CAMP

A New Nightmare: Picked up in the Aegean and Returned to Syria

Saad Abdllah reports for the Samos Chronicles about a forced deportation from Turkey to Syria. His friend Mohammad was attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece by boat with other migrants when they were picked up by the Turkish Coast Guard shortly after starting. They were then detained for 6 days, loaded onto a bus without knowing the destination and finally ended up in Idlib, Syria.

Little is known on what happens to migrants who are being picked up by the Turkish Coast Guard, Police or Gendarmery when trying to irregularly cross to Greece, except these horrific single stories of  detention and forced deportation. We would like to ask our readers to share their knowledge, insights, articles and contributions on this issue with us! Please contact us at harekact@bordermonitoring.eu.


Via Samos Chronicles (19th June) – For the past ten days I have been waiting for news from Mohammad. Like me he comes from Aleppo but for the past 6 years he has been with his mother and brother living in Istanbul. Mohammad is 18 years old.

We became friends through Facebook where he saw that I was involved with many refugees in Athens and in Samos. He had read my story in the Samos Chronicles. As a young gay man he turned to me for advice and help which I was happy to give. Over the past six months we have talked a lot and a good friendship has developed. I know that he trusts me.

Continue reading A New Nightmare: Picked up in the Aegean and Returned to Syria

New Monthly Report on Rights Violations and Resistance by Legal Centre Lesbos

Asylum Seekers leaving from Lesvos to Athens in early May 2018.

Via Legal Centre Lesbos – In the months since our last update on rights violations and resistance in Lesvos, our advocacy and campaigning resources were almost exclusively focused on the two trials for the Moria 35 and Moria 10 that took place in Chios in late April and early May 2018.

The situation has predictably worsened in Lesvos. Continue reading New Monthly Report on Rights Violations and Resistance by Legal Centre Lesbos

Persecuted Kurdish People in Lesvos Release Statement to Authorities.

Via #opentheislands, June 8th 2018 – The Kurdish individuals who are temporarily living in Pikpa Camp in Lesvos have released a statement demanding that Greek and European authorities protect their rights. These individuals fled war and persecution in Syria and Turkey and on 25 May 2018 they faced further violence in Moria Camp. The extreme violence they have fled and that they continue to face in Lesvos, Greece has left several injured and traumatized. Their trauma has not ended however, as Moria camp administration have this week threatened them with deportation to Turkey if they do not return to Moria Camp, which would subject them to collective expulsion and persecution in Turkey, in violation of human rights and refugee law.

Their statement and demands are found below in Greek and English.

ENG – Letter Kurdish 8 June

GREEK – Letter Kurdish 8 June

Continue reading Persecuted Kurdish People in Lesvos Release Statement to Authorities.

Seeking refuge from the hotspots: asylum seekers required to return to Moria despite concerns

Via ECRE – Following an intense conflict at the Moria hotspot, on Lesvos, Greece on 25 May 2018, which left at least 70 people injured, a group of nearly 1,000 people, including families with young children, fled the violence and sought protection in other areas of Lesbos. This led to other facilities being overcrowded despite the efforts of civil society organisations and residents. Around 600 people went to a makeshift camp in the Larsos area, while another 300 were taken to the former PIKPA children’s camps.Those who fled the violence at the Moria hotspot, which is hosting numbers three times its capacity, have been told that they will lose their food and financial allowances as well as their appointments with the asylum service if they do not return to the hotspot.

In the light of these developments, civil society organisations have reiterated their call on the Greek government to proceed with the immediate transfer of a large number of migrants to the mainland. Around 160 people who fled the recent violence at the Moria hotspot have been transported by boat to Athens and housed in tents at the Malakasa camp. However, this number is highly insufficient. According to the government, further transfers are on hold due to a lack of accommodation on the mainland.

The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has recently published a study focusing on the detrimental impact that the EU-Turkey Statement and the implementation of the “hotspot approach” in Greece is having on the rights of refugees and migrants arriving. The study finds that that the current procedures and practices for processing asylum applications on the Greek islands under the EU-Turkey statement violate the applicants’ right to asylum and due process.

Continue reading Seeking refuge from the hotspots: asylum seekers required to return to Moria despite concerns