Tragedy strikes migrant camp in Greece

The unbearable and inhumane conditions of the overcrowded migrant camp in Moria, Greece have already been subjected to widespread criticism

October 03, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
In September 2019, a fire at the Moria Refugee Camp killed 2. Photo: AP

On September 29, a massive fire broke out at the overcrowded migrant camp in Moria on Lesvos island in Greece. Two were killed in the fire, an Afghan woman and a child, while at least 19 other migrants suffered from injuries and were hospitalized. Following the tragic fire, migrants in the camp held protests to demand immediate action from the authorities to put out the fire. There has also been growing discontent among the migrants due to the unsafe and dangerous conditions in the camp.

According to reports, the camp has capacity for 3,000 people but at the current time there are more than 13,000 in the camp who are forced to live in congested tents and shipping containers. The camp itself is located in Moria on a former Greek military base and was initially intended to be a center to register arrivals.

The unbearable and inhumane conditions of the overcrowded migrant camp in Moria have been subjected to widespread criticism by several international organizations. The Greek government and the European Union were warned by activist groups and volunteers on several occasions on the urgency to take necessary actions to solve the migrant crisis in the region, and specifically in cases like the Moria camp, to avert a massive human tragedy. After the fire, several rights groups vehemently criticized the Greek government and the EU authorities over their inability to address the obvious problems that inevitably resulted in tragedy.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Head Of Mission in Greece: Tommaso Santo told media that “When you put 13,000 people in a space designed for 3,000, just the fact that people are sleeping on top of each other creates a lot of tension.”

In their statement, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) had said that the conservative New Democracy (ND) government’s anti-immigration policy, in line with the policy pursued by previous SYRIZA governments, cannot and will not have a solution and to counter the deep causes that fill the islands and mainland Greece with thousands of oppressed people as refugees.

The All Workers Militant Front (PAME) demanded the immediate transfer of migrants and refugees from the overcrowded camps in the Lesvos to decent lodging facilities in the Greek mainland.

Earlier this month on September 12, 2019, the Greek riot police attacked a demonstration of young migrants and volunteers at the Moria camp in Lesvos who were protesting the unbearable conditions at the overcrowded refugee camp.