Police atrocities against migrants continue in Greece, this time in Lesvos

Volunteer groups report that refugees living in the Moria camp in Lesvos still do not have access to basic resources and face further postponement of their asylum process due to the lack of vulnerability assessments

September 12, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
police atrocity-greece
Migrants, restricted to overcrowded camps in the Greek island of Lesvos, have been protesting the inhumane living conditions and the delaying of their asylum process.

On September 3, Greek riot police attacked a demonstration of minor immigrants and volunteers at the Moria camp in Lesvos. The migrants were protesting the unbearable conditions at the overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island. The police aggression lasted for at least 40 minutes before the migrants finally withdrew, following negotiations with the authorities. 

The protesters were agitated due to the overcapacity in the housing units for minors. Almost 300 unaccompanied child asylum seekers have been recently interned at the camp. The World Socialist Website reported that many of them were among the protesters.

According to reports, there are currently more than 70,000 migrants living in overcrowded camps in Lesvos and other parts of the Greek mainland. 

The Lesvos Solidarity group Pikpa stated that the Moria Camp still holds 9,500 refugees. They lack access to basic necessities and many have not been able to go through a vulnerability assessment, which has further delayed their asylum process. There is only one doctor to attend to emergency situations at the camp, which lacks social workers and psychologists as well. 

The immediate shut down of the Moria hotspot, along with the transfer of all unaccompanied minors to appropriate and safe shelters, was demanded by an assembly of NGO employees in Lesvos . They also called for the lifting of limitations imposed on the refugees by a deal between Turkey and the European Union,  which restricts newly arrived migrants to the Greek islands unless their asylum applications are successful. 

As envisaged by the European Agenda on Migration, several migrant hotspots including Lesvos, Pozzallo, Porto Empedocle, Trapani, Lampedusa, Augusta and Taranto, are operational on the outer borders of the Union for the purposes of registration, photo-identification and fingerprinting of disembarked migrants, within 48, or a maximum  of 72 hours of arrival. 

In another incident, on August 6, the Greek police forcefully evacuated four buildings in the Exarchia district of Athens that housed around 143 migrants, including 35 minors. The police action was said to be instigated by the current conservative New Democracy (ND) government in Greece, with the aim of demolishing 23 buildings in the neighborhood, predominantly occupied by anarchist groups and radical activists.