Tag Archives: Aegean Islands

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

Dozens of Kurds face deportation if they don’t return to Moria camp

Via Ekathimerini  -Dozens of asylum seekers who left the Moria migrant processing center for other facilities on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos will be barred from the process if they do not return to the official camp, the Migration Ministry announced on Monday.

The case concerns 1,000 Kurds who left the squalid Moria camp last week and moved to facilities run by the municipal authority where living conditions are better. Of them, 158 have been transferred to a camp on mainland Greece, but 354 remain at a facility in the former Larso sports arena and 269 at the old PIKPA campsite.

Authorities have given these 623 Kurds until Friday to return to Moria, the official camp or hot spot for refugees and migrants, or face being ejected from the asylum process and deported to Turkey. Continue reading Dozens of Kurds face deportation if they don’t return to Moria camp

Lesvos Emergency: Pikpa camp calls for urgent action to decongest the island

Press Release by Pikpa Camp from June 1st 

On Friday afternoon 25 May 2018, intense fighting broke out at Moria camp, leaving many people injured. A group of around 70 refugees, including many families with young children and several injured people, fled the violence and found refuge in a park in Mytilini. Some injured people were transferred to the hospital by ambulance. The police did not allow the group to stay in the park out of fear for racist attacks. The refugees refused to return to Moria camp stating they feared for their lives. The police insisted for the team of Pikpa to host the people in Pikpa camp that night and guaranteed that the next day the families will be transferred to Kara Tepe. The Pikpa team was determined not to allow escalation of racist and fascist attacks in town and the police transferred the people to Pikpa.

Continue reading Lesvos Emergency: Pikpa camp calls for urgent action to decongest the island

Kurdish Refugees Walk Out of Greek Camp After Violent Clashes

Via Refugees Deeply – Hundreds of Kurdish refugees have left an overcrowded refugee center after violent incidents last week, saying they no longer feel safe there.

Fighting reportedly broke out between Kurdish and Arab refugees held at Moria camp over Kurds’ non-observance of the Ramadan fast. At least six people were injured. Continue reading Kurdish Refugees Walk Out of Greek Camp After Violent Clashes

Report from the Trial against the #Moria35 – Racism in the Court Hall

Valeria Hänsel, who contributes to HarekAct with her insights on the situation for refugees on Lesvos focusing on detention and deportations, wrote a report in German about the trial against the #Moria35 that took place last month in Chios.

Protest in Solidarity with the Moria35

Following a few abstracts:

“32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted for injuring a police officer in a four-day trial. They should go to jail for 26 month, though this penalty is temporarily suspended.

Vassilis Kerasiotis and Gina Palaialogou, the defendends of the convicts, lodged an appeal immediately after the process. Until a decision is made, all convicts are free.  Palaialogou comments on the verdict: “The decision was a compromise. Due to political reasons an acquittal in the first instance would hardly have been possible. In that case, they would have needed a justification and compensation for the detention for a duration of 9 nine month before the trial and the police statements would have needed to be falsified. ”

Click here to read the whole article in German at borderline-europe

Lucia Heisterkamp also published a shorter version in German newspaper taz together with Valeria Hänsel.

borderline-europe report from the island of Lesvos

In April 2018, borderline-europe members Doro Bruch, Jan Dunkemölle und Nora Freitag visited Lesvos for two weeks to gain an overview on the current situation for migrants in the island. They talked to lawyers, NGO workers, refugees and activists.

Stage2 camp in the North of Lesvos

Their report is aimed at providing insights on the current situation of refugees on the island and giving links to related information plattforms. The report focuses firstly on spotting, i.e. monitoring of the coasts for the documentation of sea rescue and arrivals over the sea from the Turkey and secondly, the accommodation and care of refugees on the island.

To continue reading the whole report in German, click here!

Humanitarian workers acquitted of ‘crime’ of helping refugees

Via New Internationalist After a two-year wait, five humanitarian volunteers who wanted to help refugees land safely have been acquitted. Tim Baster and Isabelle Merminod report from Lesbos