Via Danish Refugee Council – 19 NGOs decry conditions at the site, now worse than ever, and call for sustainable solutions to both decongest the islands and improve conditions across first receptions centres in North Aegean Sea.
STOP DEPORTATIONS TO TURKEY
People trapped on the Greek Islands are deprived of basic rights
Via Deportation Monitoring Aegean and Legal Centre Lesbos – Since the EU-Turkey Statement, more and more people seeking protection in Europe are deported directly from the Greek Islands to Turkey. According to the European Commission, at least 2,224 people have been deported to Turkey since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal on 20th of March 2016. Under constant threat of being deported, many people have to stay in a state of limbo for more than a year. They have to wait in the dehumanising living conditions of the barbed wired European hotspot camps on the Greek Islands that are unable to meet their fundamental needs. The deadlock situation drives people to despair. Already in 2017, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) denounced a “mental health emergency” on the Greek islands. Continue reading Deportation Monitoring Aegean and Legal Centre Lesbos Publish Joint Report
Via UNHCR – This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is today urging the Government of Greece to address the situation in Aegean Sea Reception and Identification Centres (RICs), commonly known as ‘hotspots’.
Centres are severely overcrowded. This means that thousands of asylum-seekers and migrants, including many children, live in squalid, inadequate and rapidly deteriorating conditions. Some have been living in these centres for more than six months.
UNHCR calls on the authorities to rapidly accelerate procedures for those eligible for transfer to the mainland; to increase reception capacity on the mainland to host them; quickly improve conditions in reception centres and provide alternative accommodation for the most vulnerable.
The situation is reaching boiling point at the Moria RIC on the island of Lesvos, where more than 7,000 asylum-seekers and migrants are crammed into shelters built to accommodate just 2,000 people. A quarter of those are children. Continue reading UNHCR urges Greece to address overcrowded reception centres on Aegean islands
Refugee Rights Europe published a new report on the living conditions of refugees on the ‘prison’ island Lesvos after a research delegation travelled to the notorious island of Lesvos in Greece in June 2018, to document the human rights situation experienced by refugees and displaced people there.
Via BBC – At Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, there is deadly violence, overcrowding, appalling sanitary conditions and now a charity says children as young as 10 are attempting suicide. The Victoria Derbyshire programme has been given rare access inside.
“We are always ready to escape, 24 hours a day we have our children ready,” says Sara Khan, originally from Afghanistan. “The violence means our little ones don’t get to sleep.”
Via euobserver – “I get depressed here. I want to go to a good school to study,” said a bright, 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, who’s been stuck for six months in the grim Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. “If we don’t study we won’t have a future and we won’t become successful.” Continue reading Children losing out on education in EU migration deal
Via Doctors Without Borders – As refugees continue to arrive on the island of Lesbos, Greece, the situation in Moria refugee camp is descending into chaos. There are frequent clashes, riots, and incidents of sexual violence, and the conditions of the camp are harming refugees’ mental health.
There are now more than 8,000 people crammed into a space made for 3,000 in Moria camp. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has witnessed escalating daily violence in Moria over the past few months, and staff have treated many victims of sexual violence, which occurs in and around the camp. Continue reading Refugees further traumatized by conditions in Greece’s Moria camp
Via Keep Talking Greece – A 16-year-old Syrian asylum seeker is hospitalized in the hospital of Mytiline with injuries in the head and the feet. The teenager was shot by a local farmer of the Moria village around 6 o’ clock Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading Farmer shoots and injures 16-year-old Syrian asylum seeker in Moria
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