Greece. March 10, 2020. Over 1000 people are detained on the Greek Aegean islands, many of them children, in closed facilities, under inhuman conditions, denied the right to seek asylum.
Originally published by Aegean Boat Report Facebook page.
People arriving on the Greek islands after March 1th has been put in provisional closed detention centers, without given the possibility to seek asylum. From pictures ABR has received the conditions some places are terrible, no sanitation, no running water, no shower, people are sleeping on the ground and water is soaking everything. Some have been living like this for 9 days, many children amongst them, not knowing what will happen to them.
On Lesvos around 500 people are being detained in a naval cargo vessel in the port of Mytilíni. On Chios 140 people are locked up in an old warehouse next to the port, on Samos at least 100 people detained in a storage next to the port police, and on Leros as many as 250 people live in old buildings, in containers and on the floor around the port police station. None of these areas is in any shape or form suitable to house people.
Similar inhuman facilities are also used on other Greek islands, like Kos, but ARB has not been able to confirm numbers or get footage from these provisional facilities. Numbers on arrivals since March 1th indicates that as many as 1700 people are being detained on the islands, denied the right to seek asylum. ABR base this high number on the fact that Greek government haven’t registered any new arrivals in March in the official population numbers for the islands.
Arrivals in March is as follows: Lesvos 655 people, Samos 177, Chios 416, Kos 176, Leros 215 and Other islands 79 people.
People are frustrated and scared, there is not sufficient food, no support with clothes, hygiene ore medical care. Organizations that have the ability to support are denied axes. Where they will take these vulnerable people, and when is unknown. Rumors floating around that they will be transported to closed detention center on mainland on Friday, is not confirmed by authorities.
“The refusal to allow people in its custody to seek asylum and the open threat to send them back to their persecutors flies in the face of the legal obligations Greece has agreed to and the values and principles it claims to represent,” said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrants rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Greece should immediately reverse this draconian policy, properly receive these people in safe and decent conditions, and allow them to lodge asylum claims.”
Bill Frelick of Human Rights Watch (HRW), reports from Lesvos:
“We asked many times for asylum, but they told us the Foreign Ministry has closed asylum to us,”
On Sunday the Cars of Hope collective will travel to Greece again to support refugees. They need your support to continue their work.
You can support them by Bank transfer or Paypal:
Name of the Bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land
Account holder: Hopetal e.V.
Description: Cars of Hope
IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87
Support refugees on the Balkanroute
Support the work of the Cars of Hope collective with refugees on the Balkan route.