Lesvos. Greece. September 13. 2020. A report from Lesvos after the Moria fire by the Dunya Collective.
Originally published by the Dunya Collective Telegram channel. Images by the Dunya Collective, under license CC BY-SA.
Yesterday morning started with tear gas. After the refugees on the coastal road between Moria and Mytilini protested again for their freedom of movement and humane treatment, the police responded in the manner of the previous days: they fired several tear gas grenades into the crowd and between the newly erected tents in the Lidl parking lot and the coastal road. Videos show that they fired into the crowd, sometimes even at head height, exposing protesters to considerable danger. The tear gas was followed by arrests and attempted arrests, and when those affected resisted, more grenades flew. Individuals collapsed under the weight of great heat, lack of supplies and police violence.
Considering the situation, it is no wonder that groups of people agreed to move to the newly built camp near Panagiouda, which was set up with unhcr tents and which will apparently be closed and was guarded by police forces yesterday. The majority of the people, however, continued to demand freedom and refused to move back to a camp with conditions similar to those in Moria. Meanwhile they are hardly supplied with water or food, and, according to interviewed refugees, the adjacent supermarkets have been closed for days, so that they too lack the possibility of self-sufficiency.
Only the Christian missionary organization Eurorelief, which took care of the accommodation of the refugees in Moria and collaborates with the Greek state and the police forces, got access to the area. However, they drove through the crowd with several vans at excessive speed and dispensed water on the way, which led to conflicts over the too scarce water. Afterwards, according to a reliable source, they complained that the refugees behaved like animals. Furthermore, they put pressure on other groups to cooperate with them. A member of the No Border Kitchen group reported that they should hand over the cooked food to Eurorelief so that they can serve the food. It is difficult to imagine how they would distribute the food in the same way as they distributed the water. In the afternoon there was a first organized food distribution by volunteers who organized an orderly distribution with the refugees.
Meanwhile, ten European countries, including Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and France, agreed to share the 400 unaccompanied minors in question. But even politicians of the CDU, sister party of Horst Seehofer’s CSU, spoke out in favor of the exemption of up to 5,000 refugees in Germany.
So while the EU continues to be inactive, the right-wing conservative Greek government is creating a reality by setting up the first closed camp on the island. In addition, two passenger ships are said to be anchored on the west coast of Lesvos in the meantime, which are to take up to 1000 refugees. An actual accommodation could not be confirmed yesterday. So far, the signs are that the extremely precarious situation for the refugees on Lesvos is worsening.
Dunya Collective, 13th of September 2020
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