• ‘Living in this constant nightmare of insecurity and uncertainty’

    DURING the first week of 2021, Katrin Glatz-Brubakk treated a refugee who had tried to drown himself.

    His arms, already covered with scars, were sliced open with fresh cuts.

    He told her: “I can’t live in this camp any more. I’m tired of being afraid all the time, I don’t want to live any more.”

    He is 11 years old. Glatz-Brubakk, a child psychologist at Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) mental health clinic in Lesbos, tells me he is the third child she’s seen for suicidal thoughts and attempts so far this year.

    At the time we spoke, it was only two weeks into the new year.

    The boy is one of thousands of children living in the new Mavrovouni (also known as Kara Tepe) refugee camp on the Greek island, built after a fire destroyed the former Moria camp in September.

    MSF has warned of a mental health “emergency” among children at the site, where 7,100 refugees are enduring the coldest months of the year in flimsy tents without heating or running water.

    Situated by the coast on a former military firing range, the new site, dubbed Moria 2.0, is completely exposed to the elements with tents repeatedly collapsing and flooding.

    This week winds of up to 100km/h battered the camp and temperatures dropped to zero. Due to lockdown measures residents can only leave once a week, meaning there is no escape, not even temporarily, from life in the camp.
    Camp conditions causing children to break down, not their past traumas

    It is these appalling conditions which are causing children to break down to the point where some are even losing the will to live, Glatz-Brubakk tells me.

    While the 11-year-old boy she treated earlier this year had suffered traumas in his past, the psychologist says he was a resilient child and had been managing well for a long time.

    “But he has been there in Moria now for one year and three months and now he is acutely suicidal.”

    This is also the case for the majority of children who come to the clinic.

    “On our referral form, when children are referred to us we have a question: ‘When did this problem start?’ and approximately 90 per cent of cases it says when they came to Moria.”

    Glatz-Brubakk tells me she’s seen children who are severely depressed, have stopped talking and playing and others who are self-harming.

    Last year MSF noted 50 cases of suicidal thoughts and attempts among children on the island, the youngest of whom was an eight-year-old girl who tried to hang herself.

    It’s difficult to imagine children so young even thinking about taking their lives.

    But in the camp, where there are no activities, no school, where tents collapse in the night, and storms remind children of the war they fled from, more and more little ones are being driven into despair.

    “It is living in this constant nightmare of insecurity and uncertainty that is causing children to break down,” Glatz-Brubakk says.

    “They don’t think it’s going to get better. ‘I haven’t slept for too long, I’ve been worrying every minute of every day for the last year or two’ — when you get to that point of exhaustion, falling asleep and never waking up again is more tempting than being alive.”

    Children play in the mud in the Moria 2 camp [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    Mental health crisis worsening

    While there has always been a mental health crisis on the island, Glatz-Brubakk says the problem has worsened since the fire reduced Moria to ashes five months ago.

    The blaze “retraumatised” many of the children and triggered a spike in mental health emergencies in the clinic.

    But the main difference, she notes, is that many people have now lost any remnant of hope they may have been clinging to.

    Following the fire, the European Union pledged there would be “no more Morias,” and many refugees believed they would finally be moved off the island.

    But it quickly transpired that this was not going to be the case.

    While a total of 5,000 people, including all the unaccompanied minors, have been transferred from Lesbos — according to the Greek government — more than 7,000 remain in Moria 2.0, where conditions have been described as worse than the previous camp.

    “They’ve lost hope that they will ever be treated with dignity, that they will ever have their human rights, that they will be able to have a normal life,” Glatz-Brubakk says.

    “Living in a mud hole as they are now takes away all your feeling of being human, really.”

    Yasser, an 18-year-old refugee from Afghanistan and Moria 2.0 resident, tells me he’s also seen the heavy toll on adults’ mental health.

    “In this camp they are not the same people as they were in the previous camp,” he says. “They changed. They have a different feeling when you look in their eyes.”

    [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    No improvements to Moria 2.0

    The feelings of abandonment, uncertainty and despair have also been exacerbated by failures to make improvements to the camp, which is run by the Greek government.

    It’s been five months since the new camp was built yet there is still no running water or mains electricity.

    Instead bottled water is trucked in and generators provide energy for around 12 hours a day.

    Residents and grassroots NGOs have taken it upon themselves to dig trenches to mitigate the risk of flooding, and shore up their tents to protect them from collapse. But parts of the camp still flood.

    “When it rains even for one or two hours it comes like a lake,” says Yasser, who lives in a tent with his four younger siblings and parents.

    Humidity inside the tents also leaves clothes and blankets perpetually damp with no opportunity to get them dry again.

    Despite temperatures dropping to zero this week, residents of the camp still have no form of heating, except blankets and sleeping bags.

    The camp management have not only been unforgivably slow to improve the camp, but have also frustrated NGOs’ attempts to make changes.

    Sonia Nandzik, co-founder of ReFOCUS Media Labs, an organisation which teaches asylum-seekers to become citizen journalists, tells me that plans by NGOs to provide low-energy heated blankets for residents back in December were rejected.

    Camp management decided small heaters would be a better option. “But they are still not there,” Nandzik tells me.

    “Now they are afraid that the power fuses will not take it and there will be a fire. So there is very little planning, this is a big problem,” she says.

    UNHCR says it has purchased 950 heaters, which will be distributed once the electricity network at the site has been upgraded. But this all feels too little, too late.

    Other initiatives suggested by NGOs like building tents for activities and schools have also been rejected.

    The Greek government, which officially runs the camp, has repeatedly insisted that conditions there are far better than Moria.

    Just this week Greek migration ministry secretary Manos Logothetis claimed that “no-one is in danger from the weather in the temporary camp.”

    While the government claims the site is temporary, which may explain why it has little will to improve it, the 7,100 people stuck there — of whom 33 per cent are children — have no idea how long they will be kept in Moria 2.0 and must suffer the failures and delays of ministers in the meantime.

    “I would say it’s becoming normal,” Yasser says, when asked if he expected to be in the “temporary” camp five months after the fire.

    “I know that it’s not good to feel these situations as normal but for me it’s just getting normal because it’s something I see every day.”

    Yasser is one of Nandzik’s citizen journalism students. Over the past few months, she says she’s seen the mental health of her students who live in the camp worsen.

    “They are starting to get more and more depressed, that sometimes they do not show up for classes for several days,” she says, referring to the ReFOCUS’s media skills lessons which now take place online.

    One of her students recently stopped eating and sleeping because of depression.

    Nandzik took him to an NGO providing psychosocial support, but they had to reject his case.

    With only a few mental health actors on the island, most only have capacity to take the most extreme cases, she says.

    “So we managed to find a psychologist for him that speaks Farsi but in LA because we were seriously worried about him that if we didn’t act now it is going to go to those more severe cases.”

    [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    No escape or respite

    What makes matters far worse is that asylum-seekers have no escape or respite from the camp. Residents can only leave the camp for a period of four hours once per week, and only for a limited number of reasons.

    A heavy police presence enforces the strict lockdown, supposedly implemented to stop the spread of Covid-19.

    While the officers have significantly reduced the horrific violence that often broke out in Moria camp, their presence adds to the feeling of imprisonment for residents.

    “The Moria was a hell but since people have moved into this new camp, the control of the place has increased so if you have a walk, it feels like I have entered a prison,” Nazanin Furoghi, a 27-year-old Afghan refugee, tells me.

    “It wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that I feel I am walking in a dead area. There is no joy, no hope — at least for me it is like this. Even if before I enter the camp I am happy, after I am feeling so sad.”

    Furoghi was moved out of the former Moria camp with her family to a flat in the nearby town of Mytilene earlier last year. She now works in the new camp as a cultural mediator.

    Furoghi explains to me that when she was living in Moria, she would go out with friends, attend classes and teach at a school for refugee children at a nearby community centre from morning until the evening.

    Families would often bring food to the olive groves outside the camp and have picnics.

    Those rare moments can make all the difference, they can make you feel human.

    “But people here, they don’t have any kind of activities inside the camp,” she explains.“There is not any free environment around the camp, it’s just the sea and the beach and it’s very windy and it’s not even possible to have a simple walk.”

    Parents she speaks to tell her that their children have become increasingly aggressive and depressed. With little else to do and no safe place to play, kids have taken to chasing cars and trucks through the camp.

    Their dangerous new game is testament to children’s resilience, their ability to play against all odds. But Nazanin finds the sight incredibly sad.

    “This is not the way children should have to play or have fun,” she says, adding that the unhygienic conditions in the camp also mean the kids often catch skin diseases.

    The mud also has other hidden dangers. Following tests, the government confirmed last month that there are dangerous levels of lead contamination in the soil, due to residue from bullets from when the site was used as a shooting range. Children and pregnant women are the most at risk from the negative impacts of lead exposure.

    [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    The cruelty of containment

    Asylum-seekers living in camps on the Aegean islands have been put under varying degrees of lockdown since the outbreak in March.

    Recent research has shown the devastating impact of these restrictions on mental health. A report by the International Rescue Committee, published in December, found that self-harm among people living in camps on Chios, Lesbos and Samos increased by 66 per cent following restrictions in March.

    One in three were also said to have contemplated suicide. The deteriorating mental health crisis on the islands is also rooted in the EU and Greek government’s failed “hot-spot” policies, the report found.

    Asylum-seekers who arrive on the Aegean islands face months if not years waiting for their cases to be processed.

    Passing this time in squalid conditions wears down people’s hopes, leading to despair and the development of psychiatric problems.

    “Most people entered the camp as a healthy person, but after a year-and-a-half people have turned into a patient with lots of mental health problems and suicidal attempts,” Foroghi says.

    “So people have come here getting one thing, but they have lost many things.”

    [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    Long-term impacts

    Traumatised children are not only unable to heal in such conditions, but are also unable to develop the key skills they need in adult life, Glatz-Brubakk says.

    This is because living in a state of constant fear and uncertainty puts a child’s brain into “alert mode.”

    “If they stay long enough in this alert mode their development of the normal functions of the brain like planning, structure, regulating feeling, going into healthy relationships will be impaired — and the more trauma and the longer they are in these unsafe conditions, the bigger the impact,” she says.

    Yasser tells me if he could speak to the Prime Minister of Greece, his message would be a warning of the scars the camp has inflicted on them.

    “You can keep them in the camp and be happy on moving them out but the things that won’t change are what happened to them,” he says.

    “What will become their personality, especially children, who got impacted by the camp so much? What doesn’t change is what I felt, what I experienced there.”

    Glatz-Brubakk estimates that the majority of the 2,300 children in the camp need professional mental health support.

    But MSF can only treat 300 patients a year. And even with support, living in conditions that create ongoing trauma means they cannot start healing.

    [Pic: Mare Liberum]

    Calls to evacuate the camps

    This is why human rights groups and NGOs have stressed that the immediate evacuation of the island is the only solution. In a letter to the Greek ombudsman this week, Legal Centre Lesvos argues that the conditions at the temporary site “reach the level of inhuman and degrading treatment,” and amount to “an attack on “vulnerable’ migrants’ non-derogable right to life.”

    Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees have called for the European Union to share responsibility for refugees and take in individuals stranded on the islands.

    But there seems to be little will on behalf of the Greek government or the EU to transfer people out of the camp, which ministers claimed would only be in use up until Easter.

    For now at least it seems those with the power to implement change are happy to continue with the failed hot-spot policy despite the devastating impact on asylum-seekers.

    “At days I truly despair because I see the suffering of the kids, and when you once held hands with an eight, nine, 10-year-old child who doesn’t want to live you never forget that,” Glatz-Brubakk tells me.

    “And it’s a choice to keep children in these horrible conditions and that makes it a lot worse than working in a place hit by a natural catastrophe or things you can’t control. It’s painful to see that the children are paying the consequences of that political choice.”

    #Greece #Kara_Tepe #Mavrovouni #Moria #mental_health #children #suicide #trauma #camp #refugee #MSF

    https://thecivilfleet.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/living-in-this-constant-nightmare-of-insecurity-and-uncerta

  • Le #nouveau_camp de #Lesbos, #Grèce, #Kara_Tepe, et la présumée #contamination au #plomb du terrain où il est construit (construction : #septembre_2020)

    #déchets #toxicité #pollution #armée #zone_militaire #plomb #santé #migrations #asile #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Grèce #îles_grecques #Moria_2.0

    –---

    voir le fil de discussion sur Kara Tepe ici, auquel j’ai ajouté la question du plomb :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Refugee camp on toxic land, potentially life threatening for small children!

      The new “temporary” camp in Kara Tepe, Lesvos, is as we all know built partially on an old military firing range. For the government this already restricted area was perfect, it was already fenced in. As all military areas there is a lot of restrictions, the most important ones are the restrictions of movement and the restrictions on taking pictures.
      The camp area has been criticized by many, because it’s just not suited to house people, in flimsy tents when the winter is approaching. It’s at the sea, without any protection from heavy winds that usually pounds this area. The area also floods frequently, the tents are built straight on the ground, there is no drainage system. When it’s really starts to rain, and it will, there will be mud everywhere, outside and inside the tents. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s a high possibility, that the very land the camp is built on is toxic.
      As previously mentioned, it’s an old military firing range, that has been used by the military for decades. We can assume that the military has used a variety of weapons, that over the years, have packed the ground with hazardous materials. The main concern is the possibility of lead contamination. The presence of lead and lead dust is well documented on such sites as are the extreme danger to health if lead is absorbed by children. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
      As we all know, UNHCR are assisting the Greek authorities in resettling displaced families, many of them children, on this new site. They have a special responsibility, due to their involvement, to assure that the area used is suitable and safe to live on. UNHCR have rehoused displaced families on highly toxic land in the past, and should have learned by their previous mistakes.
      Following the war in Kosovo in 1999, UNHCR rehoused displaced families on highly toxic land. This is also well documented, particularly so on a website that followed the situation over a number of years. www.toxicwastekills.com
      It resulted in childrens’ blood lead levels higher than instruments could measure. There is no level of lead so low that children’s health will not be damaged. Very young children often absorb it through licking lead paint etc as they find it pleasant. This is also well documented. Pregnant women can transfer absorbed lead to foetuses through the placenta. It attacks all organs of the body but also causes irreversible brain damage. Now UNHCR is helping to place men, women and children on an old military firing range near Kara Tepe on Lesvos. This could be yet another deadly mistake in the making.
      Due to the fact that it took only 5 days to put up this camp, after the fire in Moria, it’s highly unlikely that any proper survey has been taken. This new site requires urgent toxicity checking by independent experts to reveal whether lead is present on the new site, which could indicate an evacuation might be necessary to protect the lives of vulnerable children. The concern has already been addressed by email to Astrid Castelein, head of the UNHCR sub office on Lesvos, and the main UNHCR office in Greece, so far without any reply.
      Some areas in the camp has been leveled out by bulldozers, in other areas soil from the leveled areas has been reused as landfill. By doing so, things that has been buried in the ground for decades has resurfaced, possibly making the situation even worse. Residents in the camp have found remains of ammunition casings and grenades around the tents, and military personnel have been observed using metal detectors in the outskirts of the camp. To see small children who have fled war, play with used ammunition in a European refugee camp, should raise some questions.
      If this isn’t enough, a proposal to create a new “reception and identification centre” structure with a capacity of 2,500 people, and a planned 500 employees overall, in the area of the former shooting range of Kamenos Dasos (Camlik) in central Lesvos seems to have been passed, as the majority of Mytilene municipal authority confirmed. These areas would never have been approved to build houses, schools or kindergartens, but seems to be more than good enough for these children..
      https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717

      https://www.facebook.com/AegeanBoatReport

    • Greece : Migrant Camp Lead Contamination

      Inadequate Government Response; Lack of Transparency Put Health at Risk

      The Greek government should release test results and other vital information about lead contamination in a migrant camp on Lesbos island to protect the health of residents and workers, Human Rights Watch said today.

      After testing soil samples in November, the government confirmed publicly on January 23, 2021 the presence of dangerous levels of lead in the soil in the administrative area of the Lesbos camp. It says that samples from residential areas showed lead levels below relevant standards but did not release the locations where samples were collected or the actual test results. The government has yet to indicate that it will take the necessary steps to adequately assess and mitigate the risk, including comprehensive testing and measures to remove people from areas that could be contaminated.

      “The Greek government knowingly built a migrant camp on a firing range and then turned a blind eye to the potential health risks for residents and workers there,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “After weeks of prodding, it took soil samples to test for lead contamination while denying that a risk of lead exposure existed. It did not make the results public for over seven weeks, and has yet to allow independent experts to analyze them or vow to take the necessary steps to protect residents and workers and inform them about the potential health risks.”

      Human Rights Watch published a report in December documenting that thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, and United Nations, Greek, and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in the Lesbos camp. Greek authorities built the new camp, Mavrovouni (also known as new Kara Tepe), on a repurposed military firing range. It now houses 6,500 people. According to a government announcement on January 23, one out of 12 soil samples taken in November came back on December 8 with lead levels that “exceeded the acceptable limit.” The announcement also mentions some steps to mitigate the risk.

      Human Rights Watch has requested the Greek government and the European Commission, which financially supports the camp and with which the government shared the results, to release the testing plan and the test results, which should include such information as the levels of lead for each sample, the sample depths and exact locations, a complete history of the site with location specifity, the expertise of those conducting the testing, the sampling methodology, and information on chain of custody. To date, neither the Greek government nor the European Commission has made this information available.

      This lack of transparency means that it is impossible to assess the adequacy of the testing, evaluate what the results represent, or recommend specific strategies to address the identified risks. As a result, it is impossible to determine whether the measures laid out in the January 23 statement, such as adding new soil, gravel, and a cement base in some areas, are adequate to protect people who live and work in the camp.

      In early September, large fires broke out inside the Moria camp, the Reception and Identification Center on Lesbos, which was housing 12,767 migrants, mostly women and children. Within days, the authorities constructed Mavrovouni and said they would construct a new permanent camp. Young children and women of reproductive age are most at risk for negative effects from lead exposure.

      In a meeting with Human Rights Watch on January 20, Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said that he hoped that the residents of Mavrovouni would not spend another winter there, but did not specify when the new camp would be ready. Construction has yet to begin.

      Mavrovouni functioned as a military firing range from 1926 to mid-2020. Firing ranges are well recognized as sites with lead contamination because of bullets, shot, and casings that contain lead and end up in the ground. Lead in the soil from bullet residue can readily become airborne, especially under dry and windy conditions, which are often present on Lesbos. Lead is highly toxic when ingested or inhaled, particularly to children and anyone who is pregnant or lactating. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that there is no known safe level of blood lead concentration. Lead degrades very slowly, so sites can remain dangerous for decades.

      After multiple representations by Human Rights Watch to various Greek authorities, the European Commission, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the WHO, the Greek government and the EU Commission commissioned the Hellenic Authority of Geology and Mineral Exploration to take 12 soil samples on November 24. According to the government, 11 soil samples showed lead levels “below the acceptable limits for lead in soil,” based on Dutch standards.

      The 12th sample, taken from what authorities described as an “administrative area” on the Mavrovouni hill, “at the end of the firing range,” showed elevated levels of lead above acceptable limits, but authorities did not reveal the concentration of lead in the soil. Mitarachi told Human Rights Watch that the area that showed lead levels above acceptable limits was fenced off, but residents and two aid workers said there were no fences inside the camp in that area or signs warning of a contaminated area. At least five aid organizations have offices in that area. An aid worker said residents, sometimes as many as 200 and including children, line up there for support and information. Younger children risk ingesting lead as they play or sit on contaminated ground.

      Human Rights Watch was unable to determine whether the government shared any information with humanitarian agencies about the testing results, but calls with agencies including UNHCR and the WHO indicated that they were not aware of them prior to the January 23 release. A staff member from one aid organization there said that at least one aid worker in the camp is currently pregnant, and 118 camp residents are pregnant, based on November government data.

      An environmental expert whom Human Rights Watch consulted said that, given the potential size of the affected area and the likelihood that elevated levels are the result of historic activity, the fact that one out of 12 samples in an area came back positive should trigger further testing.

      International law obligates countries to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment’s Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, which interpret the right to a healthy environment, emphasize the need for “public access to environmental information by collecting and disseminating information and by providing affordable, effective and timely access to information to any person upon request.” The Aarhus Convention, to which Greece is a party, provides a right to receive environmental information held by public authorities.

      Greek authorities should immediately release the results and testing plan to the public, and take measures to mitigate the risk to the health of camp residents and workers, Human Rights Watch said. The authorities should ensure that residents and workers are informed about the results and measures to protect their health in languages they can understand. The authorities should also urgently undertake further testing and allow independent experts to comment on investigative work plans, audit the soil testing process, and collect split samples (a sample that is separated into at least two parts so that testing can be carried out at two or more seperate laboraties in order to confirm results) or carry out independent testing.

      The European Commission, which financially supports Greece to manage the camp and has staff stationed there, EU agencies, Frontex, and the European Asylum Support office, as well as United Nations agencies, UNHCR, UNICEF, the IOM and the WHO, should urge Greek authorities to make the detailed results and testing plan public, and push authorities to find alternative and safe housing solutions for those affected, including the option of moving them to the mainland. The European Commission, which was given the results and testing plan by the Greek government, should also make public the detailed information it received on the results and the methodology of the testing, to allow independent experts to comment on the risk to residents and workers in the camps.

      “Greece and its EU partners have a duty to make sure that people who live and work in the Mavrovouni camp are safe,” Wille said. “That requires transparency about the risks as well as urgent steps to mitigate them.”

      Additional Information

      In its January 23 statement and in its meeting with Human Rights Watch on January 20, the Greek government made several inaccurate claims regarding remediation and protection of residents. In its statement, the government claimed that after soil samples were taken on November 24, “while awaiting the results” it removed the tents directly on the firing range strip. But satellite imagery and residents’ and workers’ statements indicate that no tents were removed until between December 11 and 16, after the test results were received.

      Satellite imagery and aid organization mapping of the camp shows that by January 10, 79 tents remained on the firing range, with 58 more at the base of the hill. The residents in those tents may be at increased risk of coming into contact with contaminated soil, particularly when it rains. In addition, after some tents were removed, three migrants and two aid workers told Human Rights Watch that residents have been using the area for football and other recreation. Authorities have not fenced off the area or notified residents of the health risks.

      Since the site was tested, major construction work and heavy rains in the area mean that potentially contaminated soil from the hill and firing range area may have moved to other parts of the camp, which warrants further testing.

      Human Rights Watch received information from multiple sources that on January 18, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which runs two assistance programs in the camp, suspended its operations at its tent on the hill. In response to a Human Rights Watch query, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Greece confirmed that, “Following the announcements regarding lead detection outside the accommodation areas and while waiting for more information from the authorities, IOM staff has been advised to remain inside the residential area.”

      In an aid briefing on January 19, the sources said it was revealed that the decision was made because of elevated levels of lead found in the “blue zone” of the camp, an area that includes the firing range and the base of the hill where the IOM Helios tent is located, as well as other aid tents including that of Médecins du Monde (MdM), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). IOM staff have yet to return to the camp, but aid workers still in the camp said there is still no fencing or signage around that area. According to the camp residents and two aid workers, and 24 photos and videos taken from inside Mavrovouni by the DunyaCollective, a media collective, since December, authorities have been moving large quantities of soil, including removing some from the hill behind the IOM Helios tent.

      On January 23, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders or MSF) issued a statement raising its concerns at the lack of appropriate government and EU action in the face of the testing results. On January 26, a group of 20 nongovernmental groups issued a joint statement calling on the Greek authorities to immediately evacuate camp residents and transfer them to appropriate structures on the mainland and elsewhere, such as hotel units.

      Aerial footage from January 14 shows tents still present in the part of the camp built on the former firing range at that date starting at around 02:00.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/01/27/greece-migrant-camp-lead-contamination

    • Greece: Lead Poisoning Concerns in New Migrant Camp

      Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch said today.

      Firing ranges are commonly contaminated with lead from munitions, nevertheless the authorities did not conduct comprehensive lead testing or soil remediation before moving migrants to the site in September 2020. Evidence collected by migrants moved to the site also indicated that authorities have also failed to clear all unexploded mortar projectiles and live small arms ammunition, which could injure or kill if disturbed or handled.

      “Putting thousands of migrant adults and children, along with aid workers, on top of a former firing range without taking the necessary steps to guarantee they would not be exposed to toxic lead is unconscionable,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Greek authorities should promptly conduct a comprehensive site assessment of soil lead levels and release the results.”

      In November and early December, Human Rights Watch interviewed four people living in the camp, two aid workers, one Greek migration ministry employee working in the camp, and four medical and environmental experts, and reviewed academic research on the risk of soil lead contamination at shooting ranges and medical research on the health risks of lead poisoning. Human Rights Watch did not have access to conduct on-site research, but analyzed photos and videos of the site and satellite imagery to confirm the firing range location.

      The Asylum and Migration Ministry began major construction work at the end of November at the site, called Mavrovouni camp, that could disturb any lead contaminated soil, further exposing residents and workers. The work to improve access to electricity and water and reduce the risk of flooding began despite warnings from Human Rights Watch of the potential of increased risk of lead poisoning.

      In early September, large fires broke out inside the Moria camp, the Reception and Identification Center on Lesbos that was housing 12,767 migrants, mostly women and child migrants. Within days, authorities constructed Mavrovouni (also known as new Kara Tepe) as a temporary camp and told people that they would begin construction of a new permanent camp for use by June 2021. According to the media, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi, has recently indicated the new camp will only be ready by Autumn 2021. Currently 7,517 people, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, are staying at Mavrovouni, which started functioning as a military firing range in 1926 and was in use until the camp was constructed in September 2020, Mitarachi said.

      In response to letters from Human Rights Watch, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi stated in a November 19 letter that the camp had “no lead contamination,” but provided no evidence for the basis of that assertion. He said the government has agreed to conduct soil testing with the European Commission within one month, but has not revealed the nature of the testing, the areas to be tested, or the methodology. A Hellenic army representative called Human Rights Watch on December 1, stating his intention to respond to a letter received on November 4 from Human Rights Watch, raising urgent concerns. But no response has been received. On December 6, General Secretary for Asylum Seekers’ Reception Manos Logothetis, called Human Rights Watch to dispute the risk of lead contamination at the camp. He confirmed that no soil testing for lead had taken place prior to moving people to the camp, but said that authorities are awaiting the results of soil testing conducted recently in collaboration with the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME).

      “No one just shows up without a plan,” Dr. Gordon Binkhorst, vice president of global programs at Pure Earth, told Human Rights Watch. “Sharing of a well-founded work plan beforehand is key to transparency and ensuring confidence in the findings.” Greek authorities should allow independent experts to comment on investigative work plans, audit the soil testing process and collect split samples for independent testing.

      “The authorities should share documentation of work completed and a comprehensive site investigation work plan based on a review of the site history, contaminants of concern, a conceptual site model of how such contaminants are released to and migrated in the environment, and a comprehensive testing plan that evaluates the degree and extent of contamination in the environment, and potential exposure routes,” Dr. Binkhorst said.

      Firing ranges are well-recognized as sites with lead contamination because of bullets, shot, and casings that contain lead and end up in the ground. Lead in the soil from bullet residue can readily become airborne, especially under dry and windy conditions, which often exist on Lesbos. Lead is a heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans when ingested or inhaled, particularly by children and during pregnancy. It degrades very slowly, so sites can remain dangerous for decades.

      The World Health Organization maintains that there is no known safe level of lead exposure. Elevated levels can impair the body’s neurological, biological, and cognitive functions, leading to learning barriers or disabilities; behavioral problems; impaired growth; anemia; brain, liver, kidney, nerve, and stomach damage; coma and convulsions; and even death. Lead also increases the risk of miscarriage and can be transmitted through both the placenta and breast milk.

      Small children and women of reproductive age are at particular risk. According to Greek authorities, on November 19, 2,552 out of 7,517 people in the camp were children, 997 of them under age 5, and 1,668 were women – 118 of whom have said they are five or more months pregnant.Camp residents shared 17 photographs of items they said they had found in the ground around their tents, including an intact 60mm mortar projectile and a tail fin assembly for another 60mm mortar projectile, cartridge casings for rifle bullets, fired 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, and live pistol, rifle, machine gun, and shotgun ammunition. Intact munitions, such as 60mm mortar projectiles and small arms ammunition, pose an immediate explosive hazard and should be removed urgently from the area.

      “We try to stop our children from going to play up the hill because we know there might be bullets and other things the army didn’t clear that could be dangerous,” one camp resident said. Munitions containing lead can be extremely dangerous when swallowed by children or contaminate the soil, a medical expert told Human Rights Watch.

      The authorities should conduct a thorough and transparent assessment of lead levels in the soil and dust, as well as other possible pathways to exposure, and make the results publicly available. Any work that might increase exposure should be paused until after the soil has been tested or until people have been removed from the camp and housed in adequate facilities, Human Rights Watch said. If lead is present in the soil, authorities should provide free blood testing and treatment for camp residents, aid workers, police, and others who might have been exposed, prioritizing young children and women of reproductive age, and immediately move exposed residents to a safe location and remediate the contaminated areas.

      “The Greek government could be putting at risk families with young children, aid workers, and its own employees because it’s determined to hold asylum seekers on the island,” Wille said. “If this is where the government is trying to force asylum seekers to live on Lesbos, then all the more reason to transfer people to the mainland.”

      Tents on a Firing Range

      The Mavrovouni site sits on a large plot of military-owned land, some of which was used as a military firing range since 1926. The Asylum and Migration Ministry said that it covered the site with “new levels of soil” before the camp was opened.

      Human Rights Watch reviewed satellite imagery from before and after construction began on the camp on September 11, 2020. Imagery from before shows a firing range on part of the site next to Mavrovouni Hill. By September 28, more than 200 tents had been set up directly on the former firing range itself, with more tents on adjacent areas.

      Satellite imagery from June, before Moria camp was destroyed by fire, shows some basic clearance of vegetation cover within a rectangular strip that included the firing range, as well as a small section at the base of Mavrovouni Hill. From the imagery, it is impossible to determine the depth of the soil removal and whether the remediation of lead impacted soil was completed in accordance with prevailing standards and guidelines, or if it was just a superficial scraping of topsoil.

      Human Rights Watch was unable to determine what soil removal activities took place between June and September, when the camp opened, or of other activities to decontaminate the ground or where soil removed was disposed of. Given the speed of camp construction, it is very unlikely that authorities could have carried out remediation of lead-impacted soil before setting up the tents. Greek authorities have indicated that new soil was placed prior to construction of the camp, with no location indicated.

      Satellite imagery analysis, combined with a review of photos and videos of the firing range that were posted online in the spring, shows that the military was shooting from the southwest toward targets in the northeast, at the foot of Mavrovouni Hill. This suggests that soil on the hillside might also be contaminated by lead.

      Imagery recorded between September 14 and 16, shows at least 300 tents just south of the hill without any prior signs of soil clearance, with another at least 170 added in the following days. Imagery from late November shows further ground preparation southeast of the hill, and the construction of four large structures.

      Medical and environmental experts interviewed said it was risky to conduct further work in the camp without first conducting soil samples. “Disturbing this area will mobilize the lead in the soil and make it more vulnerable to dispersion from periodic rainfall, flooding, and wind erosion,” said Jack Caravanos, professor of global environmental health at New York University. Dr. Caravanos has visited and assessed dozens of lead-contaminated sites throughout the world and expressed dismay over how this site was chosen without proper environmental investigation.

      A European Commission official who is involved in migration policy with Greece said that the Greek Defense Ministry claimed that “no pieces of lead were observed on the ground” during construction or other work. Because lead dust is usually not visible, this claim raises concerns about the seriousness of the Greek government’s assessment.

      A source close to the police said that the government had considered turning the firing range into a camp site as early as 2015. At the time, authorities rejected the proposal for several reasons, the source said, including because it had been a firing range. It is unclear why the government ignored these concerns in 2020. A migration ministry employee working on the camp who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that in September, before Mavrovouni was selected, the government met with a few larger nongovernmental organizations, and discussed at least two or three alternative locations.

      Lead Contamination

      In his letter to Human Rights Watch, Minister Mitarachi said that the range had only been used for “small arms (straight trajectory), commonly only bullets, and not for other types of ammunition.” This ammunition, he said, “according to the Greek Army, contains no lead.” He added that the army had searched the camp for munitions prior to opening, and again 20 days later, and “reported no findings.”In contrast to these claims, bullets used for rifles, pistols, and machine guns as well as shot used by shotguns usually contain lead, which is used in bullets for its density and penetrating ability. Research at firing ranges has found that the discharge of lead dust from shooting results in soil contamination. Research has shown that elevated blood lead levels are commonly found in users of these sites, even among those who use them for limited amounts of time for recreational purposes.

      The large amount of fired small arms casings and cartridges found at the camp indicates an equally large number of bullets and shot might be buried beneath the ground where they landed. Other areas near the firing range may have been affected, including from relocation of soil associated with the construction of the camp or historic clearing of soils and munitions from the firing range. Thus, it is likely that any soil contamination extends beyond the firing range. Greek authorities provided no documentation for their claim that all the munitions used at the firing range were lead-free. This claim is highly questionable, given that lead-free bullets are expensive and very rare, particularly prior to the 1980s. Some bullets have an external metal-alloy coating that may make them appear to be lead-free, but the coating disintegrates relatively quickly when the bullet enters the soil, and the lead core becomes exposed. In addition, the photographic evidence from camp residents does not appear to support this contention.

      Camp residents shared with Human Rights Watch five photographs, one dated September 20, and two videos of the Hellenic Army’s Land Mine Clearance Squad carrying out clearance activities without any protective equipment and disregarding distancing between them and camp residents needed for safe ammunition clearance activities.

      The migration ministry employee working in the camp who spoke on the condition of anonymity said she remembered clearance operations taking place around that date: “There were soldiers who had this machine to detect metal walking amongst us. They were so close that we had to pick up our feet from the ground so they could check right under us.” A government employee’s union made a formal complaint about general working conditions at the camp, including their concerns around these clearance activities.

      In addition to camp residents, anyone working inside the camp could also face potential lead exposure from spending time in the camp if the soil is contaminated. Residents, aid workers, and the migration ministry employee said that these include staff from the Hellenic police, Hellenic army, municipality, First Reception Service, Asylum Service, National Public Health Organization (EODY), European Commission, European Asylum Support Office (EASO), European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), Europol, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, World Health Organization, Red Cross, and at least eight other medical and aid groups.

      Risks of Lead Poisoning for At-risk Groups

      Symptoms of lead poisoning are often not diagnosed as such but its adverse health effects can be irreversible. The severity of symptoms increases with prolonged exposure. Globally, lead exposure is estimated to account for up to one million deaths annually, with the highest burden in low- and middle-income countries. Poor and disadvantaged populations are more vulnerable because undernourishment increases the amount of ingested lead the body absorbs.

      Children are especially at risk because they absorb four to five times as much lead as adults, and their brains and bodies are still developing. In addition, small children often put their hands in their mouths or play on the ground, which increases their likelihood of ingesting or inhaling lead in dust and dirt. Exposure during pregnancy can result in stillbirth, miscarriage, and low birth weight, and can negatively affect fetal brain development. At least 118 pregnant women and 2,552 children are at the site, according to government data.

      Mohammed Hafida, a camp resident with three young children whose wife is pregnant, said that when they first moved to the camp it was particularly dusty. “When cars drove past the tents there was dust everywhere,” he said. “That only went away once the rain set in two weeks later. But the camp is on a hill, and so when it rained for several hours, many of the tents collapsed. This isn’t a camp, it’s a hell.”

      People living in the camp said that for the first few weeks, they had been sleeping on blankets and mattresses on the dusty ground, but more recently aid workers had added flooring to the tents. Even as rainfall increased, residents reported that dust would still enter the tents including in the cooking areas. Camp residents said they have to clean dust out of their tents multiple times a day because cars are driving on adjacent gravel roads. Children often play in the dusty area by the roads. A medical expert said that small children at the camp are at very serious risk for as long as they are exposed to dust that could be contaminated.

      Camp authorities did not inform residents that there could be a risk of lead exposure at the site. Medical and environmental experts said that given the known risks of lead exposure at firing ranges, comprehensive soil testing should have been carried out before even considering it as a possible location for the camp. They warned of specific risks of lead poisoning for small children who are most at risk. “Remediation can be very difficult,” said Caravanos, the NYU professor of global environmental health. “I can’t imagine that you could make it safe without removing everyone if lead was found in the soil.”

      On November 17, Human Rights Watch was notified about significant planned construction work, which the Asylum and Migration Ministry confirmed in a letter dated November 19. On November 26, Human Rights Watch sent a letter with detailed findings to the Greek Ministries of Asylum and Migration and Defense, which it also shared with EU officials and representatives from UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, and the World Health Organization, saying that these actions risk further exposing residents and construction workers to any potentially lead-contaminated dust and soil. Despite these warnings, on November 30, residents of the camp informed researchers that large construction was underway, including on top of Mavrovouni hill.

      The authorities should have been aware of the amount of dust construction causes at the site. During the construction of the camp in September, the migration ministry employee said, workers had been moving around lots of soil to make room for the camp structure and “There was a lot of dust everywhere for days. I kept finding dust and even little pebbles in my ears at that time.”

      Unsatisfactory Clearance Operation

      Three people interviewed in November said that the authorities forced them to move to the camp after the fires in Moria camp by threatening that the government would stop their asylum claims if they refused. All three have found and provided Human Rights Watch with photographs of munition remnants since moving to Mavrovouni in September. They all said that after moving to the site, they saw the Greek military conduct clearance operations without protective gear, and they shared videos of those operations with Human Rights Watch.

      In the videos and photographs, the camp tents and migrants are clearly visible, confirming that some clearance activities took place after people were already living there. A Syrian man whose wife is nine-months pregnant with their first child said that, after they had moved into the camp, he saw the military find and remove at least one cartridge casing. Another camp resident said that since arriving, he has found many bullets on the ground but the “authorities haven’t told us what to do if we find them, or other kinds of munitions.”

      Access to Health Care

      Two medical staff from a team providing health care in Mavrovouni camp said on November 10 that, since arriving at the camp in October, they had not heard anything about possible lead exposure. Both said that the camp had “decent” health care services considering that it was a temporary camp, but that the laboratory inside the camp does not have the capacity to perform blood tests for lead levels. Both said that because of the nature of the symptoms of lead poisoning, which are also symptoms of other illnesses, it would be extremely difficult to diagnose potential cases without blood tests.

      Both medical staff and a doctor who had worked previously at the camp said it was very difficult for camp residents to visit the hospital due to movement restrictions related to Covid-19.

      Parallels to Kosovo Incident

      This is not the first time that people living in a camp are put at risk of lead poisoning. For more than a decade following the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999, about 600 Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptian minority members lived in camps for displaced people operated by the UN. The camps sat on land contaminated by lead from a nearby industrial mine. In 2016, a United Nations human rights advisory panel found that the UN mission in Kosovo (the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK) had violated the affected people’s rights to life and health. Human Rights Watch documented that camp residents experienced lasting health impacts and are still awaiting compensation and health and educational support for themselves and their families, seven years after the last camp was closed in 2013.

      International Legal Obligations

      International law obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors governments’ compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in its General Comment 14 on the right to health, has interpreted the covenant to include:

      [T]he requirement to […] the prevention and reduction of the population’s exposure to harmful substances such as radiation and harmful chemicals or other detrimental environmental conditions that directly or indirectly impact upon human health.

      The right to health encompasses the right to healthy natural environments. The right to a healthy environment, which is also enshrined in the Greek constitution, involves the obligation to “prevent threats to health from unsafe and toxic water conditions.”

      The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment’s Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, which interpret the right to a healthy environment, emphasize the need for “public access to environmental information by collecting and disseminating information and by providing affordable, effective and timely access to information to any person upon request.” The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the treaty body that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Greece is a party, when describing the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, calls on states to take appropriate measures “to combat disease and malnutrition … taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution.”

      Responsibilities of the Greek Parliament and European Union

      Members of the Greek parliament should pay attention to the concerns that there may be lead contamination at Mavrovouni camp and assess the Greek government’s compliance with its obligations under national, European, and international law to realize the rights to health and healthy environment. They could hold a hearing or establish an inquiry to establish which government employees were involved in approving the site, the extent to which they knew or should have known about the risk of lead contamination, why they decided to move people to the site without first conducting comprehensive soil testing, and why, despite multiple concerns about lead contamination raised after the camp was opened, the authorities greenlighted construction work without first conducting comprehensive soil testing. They should take appropriate action to ensure accountability if merited.

      The European Commission, which financially supports Greece to manage the camp and has staff stationed there, as well as EU agencies, Frontex, and EASO, should urge Greek authorities to comprehensively test for lead and make the testing plan and results public.

      Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental groups have long warned European leaders about the dire conditions in island camps, also known as hotspots. These have been exacerbated by Greek authorities’ containment policy, which has blocked transfers to the mainland. For years, residents were crammed into overcrowded, inadequate tents, with limited access to food, water, sanitation, and health care, including during the pandemic and despite the risk of Covid-19. The EU and Greece should fundamentally reconsider their hotspot approach on the Greek Islands and end policies that lead to the containment of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers in unsuitable, and in this case potentially hazardous, facilities.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/08/greece-lead-poisoning-concerns-new-migrant-camp

      #pollution #contamination #plomb #Saturnisme #HRW #rapport

    • HRW calls for transparency over lead contamination at Lesvos migrant camp

      Greek authorities should release test results and other vital information about lead contamination at the Kara Tepe migrant camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos to protect the health of residents and workers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

      After testing soil samples in November, authorities earlier this month confirmed dangerous levels of lead in the soil in the administrative area of the facility, also known as Mavrovouni, which was built on a repurposed military firing range. They said that samples from residential areas showed lead levels below relevant standards but did not release the locations where samples were collected or the actual test results, the New York-based organization said.

      HRW said that officials have yet to indicate that they will take the necessary steps to adequately assess and mitigate the risk, including comprehensive testing and measures to remove people from areas that could be contaminated.

      “The Greek government knowingly built a migrant camp on a firing range and then turned a blind eye to the potential health risks for residents and workers there,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at HRW.

      “After weeks of prodding, it took soil samples to test for lead contamination while denying that a risk of lead exposure existed. It did not make the results public for over seven weeks, and has yet to allow independent experts to analyze them or vow to take the necessary steps to protect residents and workers and inform them about the potential health risks,” she said.

      According to a report published by HRW in December, thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, and United Nations, Greek, and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning.

      The Kara Tepe facility currently houses 6,500 people.

      “Greece and its EU partners have a duty to make sure that people who live and work in the Mavrovouni camp are safe,” Wille said.

      “That requires transparency about the risks as well as urgent steps to mitigate them,” she said.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/261695/article/ekathimerini/news/hrw-calls-for-transparency-over-lead-contamination-at-lesvos-migrant-c

  • How the Pandemic Turned Refugees Into ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Surveillance Tech

    An interview with Dr. Petra Molnar, who spent 2020 investigating the use of drones, facial recognition, and lidar on refugees

    The coronavirus pandemic unleashed a new era in surveillance technology, and arguably no group has felt this more acutely than refugees. Even before the pandemic, refugees were subjected to contact tracing, drone and LIDAR tracking, and facial recognition en masse. Since the pandemic, it’s only gotten worse. For a microcosm of how bad the pandemic has been for refugees — both in terms of civil liberties and suffering under the virus — look no further than Greece.

    Greek refugee camps are among the largest in Europe, and they are overpopulated, with scarce access to water, food, and basic necessities, and under constant surveillance. Researchers say that many of the surveillance techniques and technologies — especially experimental, rudimentary, and low-cost ones — used to corral refugees around the world were often tested in these camps first.

    “Certain communities already marginalized, disenfranchised are being used as guinea pigs, but the concern is that all of these technologies will be rolled out against the broader population and normalized,” says Petra Molnar, Associate Director of the Refugee Law Lab, York University.

    Molnar traveled to the Greek refugee camps on Lesbos in 2020 as part of a fact-finding project with the advocacy group European Digital Rights (EDRi). She arrived right after the Moria camp — the largest in Europe at the time — burned down and forced the relocation of thousands of refugees. Since her visit, she has been concerned about the rise of authoritarian technology and how it might be used against the powerless.

    With the pandemic still raging and states more desperate than ever to contain it, it seemed a good time to discuss the uses and implications of surveillance in the refugee camps. Molnar, who is still in Greece and plans to continue visiting the camps once the nation’s second lockdown lifts, spoke to OneZero about the kinds of surveillance technology she saw deployed there, and what the future holds — particularly with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Molnar says, adding “that they’ve been using Greece as a testing ground for all sorts of aerial surveillance technology.”

    This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

    OneZero: What kinds of surveillance practices and technologies did you see in the camps?

    Petra Molnar: I went to Lesbos in September, right after the Moria camp burned down and thousands of people were displaced and sent to a new camp. We were essentially witnessing the birth of the Kara Tepes camp, a new containment center, and talked to the people about surveillance, and also how this particular tragedy was being used as a new excuse to bring more technology, more surveillance. The [Greek] government is… basically weaponizing Covid to use it as an excuse to lock the camps down and make it impossible to do any research.

    When you are in Lesbos, it is very clear that it is a testing ground, in the sense that the use of tech is quite rudimentary — we are not talking about thermal cameras, iris scans, anything like that, but there’s an increase in the appetite of the Greek government to explore the use of it, particularly when they try to control large groups of people and also large groups coming from the Aegean. It’s very early days for a lot of these technologies, but everything points to the fact that Greece is Europe’s testing ground.

    They are talking about bringing biometric control to the camps, but we know for example that the Hellenic Coast Guard has a drone that they have been using for self-promotion, propaganda, and they’ve now been using it to follow specific people as they are leaving and entering the camp. I’m not sure if the use of drones was restricted to following refugees once they left the camps, but with the lockdown, it was impossible to verify. [OneZero had access to a local source who confirmed that drones are also being used inside the camps to monitor refugees during lockdown.]

    Also, people can come and go to buy things at stores, but they have to sign in and out at the gate, and we don’t know how they are going to use such data and for what purposes.

    Surveillance has been used on refugees long before the pandemic — in what ways have refugees been treated as guinea pigs for the policies and technologies we’re seeing deployed more widely now? And what are some of the worst examples of authoritarian technologies being deployed against refugees in Europe?

    The most egregious examples that we’ve been seeing are that ill-fated pilot projects — A.I. lie detectors and risk scorings which were essentially trying to use facial recognition and facial expressions’ micro-targeting to determine whether a person was more likely than others to lie at the border. Luckily, that technology was debunked and also generated a lot of debate around the ethics and human rights implications of using something like that.

    Technologies such as voice printing have been used in Germany to try to track a person’s country of origin or their ethnicity, facial recognition made its way into the new Migration’s Pact, and Greece is thinking about automating the triage of refugees, so there’s an appetite at the EU level and globally to use this tech. I think 2021 will be very interesting as more resources are being diverted to these types of tech.

    We saw, right when the pandemic started, that migration data used for population modeling became kind of co-opted and used to try and model flows of Covid. And this is very problematic because they are assuming that the mobile population, people on the move, and refugees are more likely to be bringing in Covid and diseases — but the numbers don’t bear out. We are also seeing the gathering of vast amounts of data for all these databases that Europe is using or will be using for a variety of border enforcement and policing in general.

    The concern is that fear’s being weaponized around the pandemic and technologies such as mobile tracking and data collection are being used as ways to control people. It is also broader, it deals with a kind of discourse around migration, on limiting people’s rights to move. Our concern is that it’ll open the door to further, broader rollout of this kind of tech against the general population.

    What are some of the most invasive technologies you’ve seen? And are you worried these authoritarian technologies will continue to expand, and not just in refugee camps?

    In Greece, the most invasive technologies being used now would probably be drones and unpiloted surveillance technologies, because it’s a really easy way to dehumanize that kind of area where people are crossing, coming from Turkey, trying to claim asylum. There’s also the appetite to try facial recognition technology.

    It shows just how dangerous these technologies can be both because they facilitate pushbacks, border enforcement, and throwing people away, and it really plays into this kind of idea of instead of humane responses you’d hope to happen when you see a boat in distress in the Aegean or the Mediterranean, now entities are turning towards drones and the whole kind of surveillance apparatus. It highlights how the humanity in this process has been lost.

    And the normalization of it all. Now it is so normal to use drones — everything is about policing Europe’s shore, Greece being a shield, to normalize the use of invasive surveillance tech. A lot of us are worried with talks of expanding the scope of action, mandate, and powers of Frontex [the European Border and Coast Guard Agency] and its utter lack of accountability — it is crystal clear that entities like Frontex are going to do Europe’s dirty work.

    There’s a particular framing applied when governments and companies talk about migrants and refugees, often linking them to ISIS and using careless terms and phrases to discuss serious issues. Our concern is that this kind of use of technology is going to become more advanced and more efficient.

    What is happening with regard to contact tracing apps — have there been cases where the technology was forced on refugees?

    I’ve heard about the possibility of refugees being tracked through their phones, but I couldn’t confirm. I prefer not to interact with the state through my phone, but that’s a privilege I have, a choice I can make. If you’re living in a refugee camp your options are much more constrained. Often people in the camps feel they are compelled to give access to their phones, to give their phone numbers, etc. And then there are concerns that tracking is being done. It’s really hard to track the tracking; it is not clear what’s being done.

    Aside from contact tracing, there’s the concern with the Wi-Fi connection provided in the camps. There’s often just one connection or one specific place where Wi-Fi works and people need to be connected to their families, spouses, friends, or get access to information through their phones, sometimes their only lifeline. It’s a difficult situation because, on the one hand, people are worried about privacy and surveillance, but on the other, you want to call your family, your spouse, and you can only do that through Wi-Fi and people feel they need to be connected. They have to rely on what’s available, but there’s a concern that because it’s provided by the authorities, no one knows exactly what’s being collected and how they are being watched and surveilled.

    How do we fight this surveillance creep?

    That’s the hard question. I think one of the ways that we can fight some of this is knowledge. Knowing what is happening, sharing resources among different communities, having a broader understanding of the systemic way this is playing out, and using such knowledge generated by the community itself to push for regulation and governance when it comes to these particular uses of technologies.

    We call for a moratorium or abolition of all high-risk technology in and around the border because right now we don’t have a governance mechanism in place or integrated regional or international way to regulate these uses of tech.

    Meanwhile, we have in the EU a General Data Protection Law, a very strong tool to protect data and data sharing, but it doesn’t really touch on surveillance, automation, A.I., so the law is really far behind.

    One of the ways to fight A.I. is to make policymakers understand the real harm that these technologies have. We are talking about ways that discrimination and inequality are reinforced by this kind of tech, and how damaging they are to people.

    We are trying to highlight this systemic approach to see it as an interconnected system in which all of these technologies play a part in this increasingly draconian way that migration management is being done.

    https://onezero.medium.com/how-the-pandemic-turned-refugees-into-guinea-pigs-for-surveillance-t

    #réfugiés #cobaye #surveillance #technologie #pandémie #covid-19 #coroanvirus #LIDAR #drones #reconnaissance_faciale #Grèce #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Moria #European_Digital_Rights (#EDRi) #surveillance_aérienne #complexe_militaro-industriel #Kara_Tepes #weaponization #biométrie #IA #intelligence_artificielle #détecteurs_de_mensonges #empreinte_vocale #tri #catégorisation #donneés #base_de_données #contrôle #technologies_autoritaires #déshumanisation #normalisation #Frontex #wifi #internet #smartphone #frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4

    ping @etraces

  • Grèce : énorme #manifestation de #réfugiés bloqués à Lesbos : Liberté, #nous_voulons_partir

    –-> « Θέλουμε να φύγουμε » : Χιλιάδες στο μπλόκο της Αστυνομίας
    Διαδήλωση- διαμαρτυρία αιτούντων άσυλο στον Καρά- Τεπέ για να φύγουν από τη Λέσβο.

    15:10 Εκατοντάδες διαδηλωτές αποπειράθηκαν να μπουν στον καταυλισμό του Δήμου Μυτιλήνης από την πίσω πλευρά- καταυλισμός που λειτουργεί από το 2015 στην περιοχή του Καρά- Τεπέ, και δεν τα κατάφεραν.

    15:15 Διαμαρτυρία χιλιάδων προσφύγων και μεταναστών μεταβαίνει προς τις κλούβες του αστυνομικού μπλόκου στον Καρά- Τεπέ και επιστρέφει μόνη της στις εγκαταστάσης του υποκαταστήματος Honda. Δεν έχει γίνει μέχρι στιγμής επέμβαση της αστυνομίας.

    14:15 : Διαδήλωση και τεράστια διαμαρτυρία χιλιάδων αιτούντων άσυλο ξεκίνησε μετά τις 2 το μεσημέρι της Παρασκευής στην περιοχή του Καρά- Τεπέ, εκεί που παραμένουν επί τρεις ημέρες πάνω από 10.000 πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες μετά την πυρκαγιά της Τρίτης που έκαψε τον καταυλισμό του ΚΥΤ Μόριας.

    « Θέλουμε να φύγουμε, αφήστε μας ελεύθερους » φωνάζουν κατά του μπλόκου της Αστυνομίας. Κλούβες των ΜΑΤ έχουν περικυκλώσει τη διαμαρτυρία και όλοι ζητούν να φύγουν από τη Λέσβο, ενώ σε εξέλιξη βρίσκεται η εγκατάσταση σκηνών, όπου θα μεταφερθούν όσοι διέμεναν στους δρόμους.

    https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11341/theloyme-na-fygoyme-xiliades-sto-mploko-ths-astynomias-pics-video

    #Kara-Tepe #Kara_Tepe #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Lesbos #hotspot #incendie #camps_de_réfugiés #feu #septembre_2020 #Grèce

    –-

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’incendie de septembre 2020 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876123

    • Lesbos refugees protest after devastating camp fire – video report

      Thousands of refugees on Lesbos protested in the street on Friday outside what was the largest migrant camp in Europe, which burned to the ground on Tuesday night.

      Greek officials have pledged new temporary tents for the close to 13,000 refugees who were staying in Moria, as 11 European countries agreed to take 400 unaccompanied minors from among those left homeless by the fire.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=n0RCpH0NeT8&feature=emb_logo


      https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/sep/11/lesbos-refugees-protest-after-devastating-camp-fire-video-report
      #vidéo

    • Et cette Une du Manifesto...
      Lacrimogeni di coccodrillo

      Dopo il cordoglio il gas. Per Atene i profughi sono solo un problema di ordine pubblico da tenere confinati sulle isole. La polizia carica i migranti che chiedono di essere trasferiti sulla terraferma. Il governo avvia la costruzione di un nuovo campo in cui rinchiuderli. E l’Europa resta fredda, dieci paesi si fanno avanti per accogliere solo 400 minori

      https://www.facebook.com/ilmanifesto/photos/a.86900427984/10159493041962985/?type=3

    • Refugees demand rescue from Lesbos after Moria camp blaze

      Greek authorities struggle to persuade former camp residents to move to a new temporary site as protests continue

      Greece is facing mounting demands from refugees displaced by the devastating Moria refugee camp fire to either let them leave Lesbos or deport them.

      The Greek authorities are struggling to persuade former residents of the camp to move to a new temporary site, and many people continue to sleep on the streets of the island.

      The latest protests in Lesbos, where police have fired teargas at refugees, came as Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he hoped plans to build a new reception centre to replace Moria would be an opportunity to reset policy on handling migrant arrivals.

      The fire at the overcrowded camp, engulfed in a blaze last week, has left more than 12,000 people – from 70 different countries, although many from Afghanistan – without shelter or proper sanitation.

      Blazes broke out last week in several locations across the camp after 35 residents tested positive for Covid-19, prompting a lockdown by Greek authorities that in turn triggered protests by residents during which fires were lit.

      The disaster has served to underline chronic problems surrounding the conditions for residents and the wider EU policy surrounding those in the camp – which was originally built to house 3,000 people – many of whom are now demanding to be resettled in Europe.

      Although the EU initially said 10 countries had agreed to take 400 unaccompanied minors, it was criticised for doing too little and too late. Germany – which had originally pledged to take 150 child refugees – announced on Monday that it was in talks to take more families.

      Reflecting the views of many of those sleeping rough, a crowd of women and children protesting again on Monday, some holding banners asking the EU to save them.

      “We have been here for more than one year,” said Maryam, a 25-year-old mother. “There is no rescue. No freedom. If they can’t support us then they should deport us all together.

      “We are asking for the European community to help. Why are they not listening to us? Where are the human rights? We took refuge in the European Union but where are they? There are no toilets, no showers, no water. Nothing. Not any security or safety. We die here every day.”

      While a temporary camp was set up after the fire, both islanders and former residents oppose the Greek government’s plan for a new camp. Some former residents were arrested at the weekend for reportedly encouraging others not to enter the new camp.

      Moria has long been a symbol of the deep political divisions in Europe over Mediterranean migration, as it initially featured as a transit point for hundreds of thousands of people – many from Syria and Afghanistan – heading for Europe.

      After the closure of Europe’s borders to refugees four years ago, Moria has become largely a dead end, plagued by mental health issues and a pervasive sense of desperation.

      The Guardian also met Zahara, another member of the group of women protesting. She cried as she produced a doctor’s note dated the end of August stating she is pregnant and depressed, and requesting a move to new accommodation in the now burned out camp.

      “This lady is depressed and suicidal,” the doctor’s note said. A friend patted her arm and tried to reassure her.

      Another woman said: “Is it similar in Athens? Is it similar on the mainland?”

      Marina Papatoukaki, a midwife with a field clinic run by charity Médecins Sans Frontières, said she was deeply concerned about some of the pregnant women they had been treating, but who they have been unable to locate since the fire.

      “Europe and the state need to understand that these women shouldn’t have been on the island in the first place. They need to be transferred on the mainland,” she said.

      Papatoukaki said pregnant women and babies they were treating in the clinic were not getting enough food and water. “Babies are sleeping on the street where they can’t be washed, they are getting skin rashes and other conditions. These are vulnerable people and Europe and the Greek government need to move them.”

      Germany’s intention to take in more children from the camp was announced by Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert in Berlin, who said that the move to take minors was a first step, but that more needed to be done.

      “Talks are now ongoing in the federal government about how else Germany can help, what other substantial contribution our country can make,” he said.

      A second step would focus on families with children from the camp, Seibert said. Seibert’s comments follow remarks by development minister Gerd Müller, who criticised the initial quota of 150 minors and called for Germany to take 2,000 people.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/14/refugees-demand-rescue-from-lesbos-after-moria-camp-blaze

  • #métaliste sur l’#incendie de #septembre_2020 dans le #hotspot de #Moria, #Lesbos (#Grèce)

    Fil de discussion sur l’incendie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    Les réactions d’#indignation en #Allemagne et ailleurs :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876121

    Manifestation de réfugiés à #Kara_Tepe : "#Nous_voulons_partir
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876128

    La réaction de certains maires en Allemagne...
    "Des villes allemandes proposent d’accueillir des migrants du camp de l’île de Lesbos ravagé par les flammes"
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876124
    #villes-refuge
    ... et en #Autriche :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/877116

    Et des villes en #Suisse...
    Des villes en première ligne
    https://seenthis.net/messages/877063
    #Zurich, #Genève, #Lausanne, #Delémont, #Fribourg

    Le #nouveau_camp de Lesbos, Grèce (septembre_2020) :


    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903

    –—

    D’autres incendies dans les camps de réfugiés en Grèce (métaliste historique) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143

    #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

  • Le #nouveau_camp de #Lesbos, #Grèce (#septembre_2020) :


    –-> photo : #Giorgos_Moutafis
    https://twitter.com/AneIrazabal/status/1305225485769740288
    #Kara_Tepe

    –----

    Un nouveau camp pour réfugiés sur l’île de Lesbos après les incendies

    Environ 500 demandeurs d’asile ont été installés dans un nouveau camp sur l’île grecque de Lesbos qui doit accueillir des milliers de #sans-abri après la destruction du grand centre de Moria. De nombreux migrants manifestent toutefois pour quitter l’île.

    « Dans cinq jours l’opération sera achevée. Tout le monde sera installé dans le nouveau camp », a assuré le ministre des Migrations, Notis Mitarachi, en visite à Lesbos depuis deux jours pour coordonner les travaux du nouveau camp. Situé à trois kilomètres du port de Mytilène, chef-lieu de l’île, ce camp « sera fermé pendant la nuit pour des raisons de sécurité », selon un communiqué ministériel.

    « Tout est parti en fumée à Moria. On ne peut plus rester dans la rue, dans le camp ce sera mieux », a indiqué à l’AFP une Somalienne qui attendait son tour devant l’entrée du camp pour être enregistrée.
    Migrants contaminés

    Notis Mitarachi a estimé que « 200 personnes » parmi les demandeurs d’asile pourraient être contaminées par le Covid-19 et que des restrictions strictes sont prévues pour les sorties des migrants du nouveau camp.

    Des milliers de familles vivent sur le bitume, sur les trottoirs ou dans les champs à Lesbos depuis les gigantesques incendies de mardi et mercredi qui ont détruit le centre d’enregistrement et d’identification de Moria, sans faire de victimes.

    Mis en place en 2015 pour limiter le nombre de migrants venant de la Turquie voisine à destination de l’Europe, ce centre abritait plus de 12’000 personnes dont 4000 enfants, soit quatre fois plus que sa capacité initiale.

    Refus d’entrer

    Des migrants ont à nouveau manifesté dans le calme dimanche en fin matinée, réclamant leur transfert vers la Grèce continentale, selon des journalistes de l’AFP. De nombreux demandeurs d’asile refusent d’entrer dans le nouveau camp, disant leur ras-le-bol après avoir attendu dans celui de Moria durant des mois, certains des années, d’être transférés dans des structures en Grèce continentale.

    Mais le ministre des Migrations, Notis Mitarachi, a souligné que « toute personne qui est dans la rue sera transférée dans le nouveau camp ». « Ceux qui rêvent quitter l’île, il faut qu’ils l’oublient », a-t-il affirmé.

    https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/11600300-un-nouveau-camp-pour-refugies-sur-lile-de-lesbos-apres-les-incendies.ht

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #tentes #HCR #SDF

    Sur l’incendie du mois de septembre 2020 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    #comme_en_Afrique...

    –----

    Fil de discussion sur le dernier incendie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Just 800 of Greek island’s 12,500 homeless migrants rehoused

      Just over 6% of the 12,500 people left homeless last week by the fire that destroyed Greece’s biggest camp for refugees and migrants have been rehoused in a new temporary facility under construction on the island of Lesvos, authorities said Monday.

      By Monday afternoon, about 800 people had entered the new tent city, hastily set up by the sea a few kilometers from the gutted Moria camp, migration ministry officials said.

      Thousands remained camped out for a sixth day along a road leading from Moria to the island capital of Mytilene, with police blocking the way into town to prevent asylum-seekers trying to board ferries for the Greek mainland instead of entering the new camp.

      Authorities say the blazes last Tuesday and Wednesday in Moria, where thousands of people arrive every year after crossing illegally from nearby Turkey, were started by camp residents angry at quarantine orders imposed after 35 people in the facility tested positive for Covid-19.

      Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said there’s space for about 5,000 people so far in the new camp, on a former military firing range at Kara Tepe near Mytilene. He also said everyone left homeless by the Moria fire will be able to relocate to Kara Tepe within the next few days.

      Officials said the gap between available spaces and residents in the new camp is largely due to the unwillingness of many asylum-seekers to settle in. Many had hoped that with Moria destroyed they would be allowed to head for the Greek mainland, or even other European Union countries.

      Several hundred women and children held a protest march along the Moria-to-Mytilene road Monday, chanting: “No camp, freedom.”

      But government officials said the only way for former Moria camp residents to leave Lesbos would be to move to the new facility and successfully apply there for asylum.

      “Moving to the new camp is not optional, it’s obligatory,” Mitarakis said in an interview with Parapolitika Radio.

      Under EU rules, people reaching Greece’s eastern Aegean islands from Turkey must stay in camps at their points of arrival pending examination of their asylum bids. This led to overcrowding and squalid living conditions for camp residents that were repeatedly criticised by human rights organizations. It also triggered resentment among Lesbos’ Greek population.

      Asylum-seekers entering Kara Tepe are tested for Covid-19 as part of the registration process, and 15 infected people have been recorded so far. All were moved to isolation facilities.

      Greece’s minister responsible for public order, Michalis Chryssohoidis, said Monday he hoped a continued reduction in migration flows from nearby Turkey and a speedy processing of asylum applications should mean the last of the refugees and migrants currently on Lesbos would have left by spring.

      Greek authorities plan to build a new facility for future arrivals that will replace Moria.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/256958/article/ekathimerini/news/just-800-of-greek-islands-12500-homeless-migrants-rehoused

    • 2,9 εκατομμύρια για νοίκια στον Καρά Τεπέ μέχρι το… 2025, στην κατά τα άλλα προσωρινή δομή !
      142.051 για τους τέσσερις μήνες του 2020 και από 550.000 το χρόνο, για τα έτη 2021 έως 2025, προκειμένου να νοικιαστούν οι εκτάσεις του Καρά Τεπέ από το Υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου

      « Λεφτά με το τσουβάλι » αλλά και απόδειξη ότι η προσωρινή δομή του Καρά Τεπέ κάθε άλλο παρά προσωρινή είναι. Το « Ν » αποκαλύπτει σήμερα, δημοσιοποιώντας τα σχετικά έγγραφα, ότι για την περίοδο Σεπτέμβριος 2020 έως 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2025, το Υπουργείο μετανάστευσης και ασύλου δίνει το αστρονομικό ποσό των 2.9 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ μόνο για την ενοικίαση εκτάσεων ξερής και εγκαταλειμμένης γης στον Καρά Τεπέ. Προκειμένου να δημιουργήσει ένα νέο μόνιμο ΚΥΤ.

      Συγκεκριμένα με δυο χθεσινές (14.9.2020) αποφάσεις του Υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου που αναρτήθηκαν στο « Διαύγεια » δεσμεύονται τα παρακάτω ποσά :

      – 142.051 ευρώ για την ενοικίαση γεωτεμαχίων για τη λειτουργία προσωρινής δομής φιλοξενίας προσφύγων και μεταναστών έως τις 31.12.2020.

      – Επίσης δεσμεύονται άλλα 2.750.000 ευρώ (550.000 ευρώ το χρόνο) για τη μίσθωση των ίδιων γεωτεμαχίων στην περιοχή Καρά Τεπέ !

      Ας σημειώσουμε ότι στις εκτάσεις αυτές που ανήκουν εξ αδιαιρέτως σε απογόνους γνωστής οικογένειας της παλιάς Μυτιλήνης, έχουν αρχίσει ήδη να πραγματοποιούνται χωματουργικές εργασίες, σε κάποια δε τμήματα στήνονται και σκηνές. Εκτείνονται δε πέραν του οικοπέδου του πεδίου βολής ιδιοκτησίας του υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας και φτάνει μέχρι και πίσω από το σούπερ μάρκετ Lidl, Σε επαφή δηλαδή από τη μια μεριά με επιχειρήσεις κατά μήκος του δρόμου από την παλιά ΕΦΑΜ μέχρι και το πεδίο βολής και από την άλλη μεριά, μέχρι τη θάλασσα.

      Η ενοικίαση του συγκεκριμένου χώρου αποδεικνύει προφανώς ότι η νέα, κατ’ ευφημισμό αποκαλούμενη « προσωρινή », δομή στον Καρά Τεπέ είναι ο χώρος όπου θα αναπτυχθεί το μόνιμο ΚΥΤ που εξήγγειλε ο Πρωθυπουργός Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης από τη Θεσσαλονίκη.

      Το μέγεθος δε της όλης έκτασης, πολλές εκατοντάδες στρέμματα, συμπεριλαμβανομένης και της έκτασης του υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας, δείχνει ότι θα είναι ένα τεράστιο ΚΥΤ πολύ μεγαλύτερο αυτό της Μόριας, το μεγαλύτερο στην Ελλάδα αλλά και σε όλη την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, σε άμεση επαφή με κατοικημένες περιοχές και πολλές δεκάδες επιχειρήσεις, λίγες εκατοντάδες μέτρα από το χωριό Παναγιύδα.

      Ας σημειωθεί ότι όπως λέχθηκε από ανθρώπους της κτηματαγοράς στη Μυτιλήνη, το ύψος του ενοικίου είναι ίσως μεγαλύτερο και από το ύψος του ποσού που απαιτείτο μέχρι πρότινος για την αγορά της έκτασης.
      https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11449/29-ekatommyria-gia-noikia-ston-kara-tepe-mexri-to-2025-sthn-kata-ta-alla-pro

      –—

      Commentaire et traduction de quelques extraits par Vicky Skoumbi :

      Voici quelques extraits de l’article du média locale sto nisi qui révèle les véritables intentions du gouvernement, qui loin de programmer l’évacuation des îles d’ici Pâques, prévoit la création du plus grand hot-spot de l’Europe à Kara-Tepe à Lesbos, beaucoup plus grand que Moria !
      Si en plus, on tient compte les intentions affichés du gouvernement de créer non pas un RIC fonctionnant comme avant, mais un centre de réception et d’identification fermé sous surveillance policière 24h sur 24h, on voit que le pire est devant nous et les déclaration sur le départ de tout réfugié d’ici Päques n’est que poudre aux yeux de la population locale et de la communauté internationale

      2,9 millions prévus pour la location de terrains à Kara Tepe jusqu’en… 2025, tout ça pour une structure censément provisoire !

      142051 pour les quatre mois de 2020 et de 550000 par an, de 2021 à 2025, afin de louer les terrains de Kara Tepe par le ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile.

      La location de ces terrains prouve évidemment que la nouvelle structure à Kara Tepe appelée par euphémisme « temporaire » est l’endroit où sera installé le RIC (Reception Identification Center), le hot-spot permanent annoncé par le Premier ministre Kyriakos Mitsotakis à Thessalonique.

      L’étendue de l’ensemble de la zone, plusieurs centaines d’hectares, y compris la zone du ministère de la Défense nationale, montre qu’il s’agira d’un hot-spot énorme, beaucoup plus grand que celui de Moria, le plus grand de Grèce et de toute l’Union européenne, en contact direct avec des zones résidentielles et de très nombreuses d’entreprises, à quelques centaines de mètres du village de Panagouda.

      Il est à noter que comme l’ont dit les gens du marché immobilier à Mytilène, le montant du loyer est probablement supérieur du montant requis pour l’achat même du terrain.

    • Lesbos : les migrants à la rue évacués par la police vers un nouveau camp « provisoire »

      La police grecque a commencé jeudi à évacuer une partie des milliers de réfugiés jetés à la rue par l’incendie de Moria vers un nouveau camp, « provisoire » selon l’ONU et les autorités grecques. Ces dernières ont évoqué Pâques comme date butoir pour transférer les exilés de l’île de Lesbos.

      La police grecque a commencé jeudi 17 septembre à évacuer une partie des milliers de réfugiés jetés à la rue par l’incendie de Moria vers un nouveau camp.

      Vers 7h locales (4h GMT), la police faisait le tour des tentes, dans le calme. Progressivement ils ont entrepris de vider le secteur de ses sans-abri et les emmener vers le nouveau camp érigé à la hâte après l’incendie, il y a une semaine.

      https://twitter.com/rspaegean/status/1306301897368797187?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      Sous un soleil déjà chaud, et sur fond de pleurs d’enfants, plusieurs réfugiés, dont des femmes et des enfants, pliaient leurs couvertures, apportaient des sacs contenant leurs affaires sauvées des flammes la semaine dernière, ou se mettaient à démonter les tentes de bric et de broc installées sur l’asphalte, selon des informations de l’AFP. Ces transferts s’ajoutent aux plusieurs centaines de migrants, déjà arrivés dans le camp mardi et mercredi, selon des humanitaires. D’après les derniers chiffres des autorités grecques, mardi, 1 200 personnes y étaient logées.

      Mercredi soir, 1 000 tentes, pouvant chacune accueillir 8 à 10 personnes, y étaient érigées. Des tentes médicales doivent encore être dressées, et deux zones de quarantaine sont prévues alors que quelque dizaines de cas de coronavirus ont été détectés - mais pour l’heure sans gravité.

      « L’objectif est de protéger la santé publique »

      Depuis l’incendie du camp de Moria, le plus grand d’Europe où vivaient près de 13 000 réfugiés dans des conditions dramatiques, les migrants se sont entassés sous des abris de fortune sur un coin de route et des parkings de supermarché fermés, dans une précarité extrême.

      Dans ce contexte, toute distanciation sociale pour se protéger du Covid-19 semble impossible et, surtout, l’urgence est ailleurs, ont observé des journalistes d’InfoMigrants sur place. « La plus grande préoccupation de ces personnes actuellement, c’est d’avoir accès à de la nourriture et de l’eau », a expliqué Dimitra Chasioti, psychologue pour Médecins sans frontières (MSF) présente sur les lieux.

      « L’objectif est de protéger la santé publique », a déclaré à l’AFP Theodoros Chronopoulos, porte-parole de la police. Il a confirmé une « opération en cours » qui « répond à des fins humanitaires ».

      MSF, qui a ouvert une clinique d’urgence dans cette zone, s’est vu interdire l’accès dans la nuit, alors que des rumeurs d’évacuation couraient, a indiqué l’ONG à l’AFP. À 7h30 (4h30 GMT), ses membres ne pouvaient toujours pas rejoindre leur clinique.

      https://twitter.com/MSF_Sea/status/1306455464071356416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      « Une opération de police est en cours pour emmener les réfugiés vers le nouveau camp. Cela ne devrait pas empêcher l’aide médicale », a twitté l’ONG. La zone a également été restreinte aux médias.

      https://twitter.com/MortazaBehboudi/status/1306468926830903296?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      Objectif : « quitter l’île pour Athènes »

      Ce nouveau camp, qui crée de nombreuses réticences parmi la population migrante angoissée à l’idée de se retrouver à nouveau enfermée, sera seulement « provisoire » ont promis l’ONU et les autorités grecques.

      Construit depuis samedi, il a pour objectif que les réfugiés « puissent progressivement, et dans le calme, quitter l’île pour Athènes » ou « être réinstallés ailleurs », a indiqué mercredi le représentant en Grèce du Haut commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (HCR) en Grèce, Philippe Leclerc. « Le HCR pousse les autorités (grecques) à accélérer le processus (de demande d’asile) pour que les gens ne restent pas trop longtemps » ici, a-t-il ajouté.

      Le ministre grec de la Protection civile Michalis Chrysochoidis a pour sa part estimé que « la moitié » des exilés pourrait quitter Lesbos « d’ici Noël » et « les autres d’ici Pâques ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27338/lesbos-les-migrants-a-la-rue-evacues-par-la-police-vers-un-nouveau-cam

    • "It is a terrible, inhuman situation". #Marisa_Matias visits Kara Tepe refugee camp

      Marisa Matias says that more than three thousand people have arrived in Kara Tepe and another six thousand are yet to arrive. In this refugee camp, people who test positive for Covid-6 are placed “in spaces surrounded by barbed wire where they have no water,” said the MEP.

      Presidential candidate Marisa Matias visited Kara Tepe in Greece this Friday, who is receiving refugees from the Moria camp, which suffered from a fire on the night of September XNUMX.

      “It is a terrible, inhuman situation”, guaranteed Marisa Matias in a video published on her Facebook page. “It is welcoming the people of Moria, after the fire, it is an immense extension”, said the MEP, pointing out the high number of people passing by around her.

      https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/en/news/It-is-a-terrible-inhumane-situation-Marisa-Matias-visits-the-re
      #paywall

    • After Moria, EU to try closed asylum camps on Greek islands

      A “closed camp” for displaced people is being set up on Samos as part of the EU’s strategy for fortifying its external borders. Neither residents of the island nor the people who will be held there want the camp.

      The site of what is to be one of the first new EU camps for displaced people is surrounded by a 6-meter (20-foot) barbed-wire fence. The heat of the day gathers in the valley, which is served so far only by a gravel road. The location of the future camp is over 5 kilometers (4 miles) from Samos, the main town on the island of the same name. When the camp is built, residents will be able to enter it through turnstiles at the gates by means of microchipped armbands. At night, the gates will remain locked.

      By the end of 2020, Samos is meant to be the first Greek island to host a “closed camp.” The announcement was made by the Greek migration minister, Notis Mitarachi, when he visited the island at the end of August. The European Commission has given Greece almost €130 million ($152 million) to build multipurpose reception-and-identification centers, which are meant to provide a higher standard of accommodation than previous camps had, with portable cabins, running water, separated areas and, above all, more security.

      The concept of the closed camps is part of a new strategy to better fortify regions at the European Union’s external borders. Overfilled camps in such regions have become a chronic problem since large numbers of displaced people began arriving in Europe from 2015 on. At the start of the year, the Greek islands near the border to Turkey were hosting more than 40,000 asylum applicants. In the town of Samos, the number of asylum applicants exceeded the number of people who lived there permanently. Almost 5,000 people are currently living in the existing camp on the island — although it was first meant to house only 650.

      Residents have built tents made from sleeping bags, sticks and tarpaulins. Water pipes stick out from the ground. The doors of the portable toilet cabins are banging open and shut with the wind. There is a smell of fried fish and urine.
      ’Send us back’

      Omar, who asked that his real name not be used, was sitting on a pallet, drinking tea with his wife and children near the tent that the family — eight members in all — shares. At night, the rats are so loud that they can’t sleep, the 58-year-old Omar said. After seven months of waiting since the family came from Idlib, Syria, he has had enough. “It’s better to send us back to our country,” he said: It would be better to be in danger in a civil war than to be provided indefinite refuge at this camp.

      Skin infections are proliferating, Omar said, and most people are without showers. Each person receives one bottle of water and two meals a day — which the members of the family take turns standing in line for up to three hours to get.

      A son, Mohammed, who had studied in university back in Syria, fanned out the meal vouchers for the following days. Whereas at the start each person had received about €90 per month, this lump sum has now been reduced to €75. Omar had heard that the money saved was being used to improve the general living conditions. But, he said, nothing has changed for him. On the contrary: Since restrictions were placed on movement, he said, the situation has become even more tense. He said the situation often got worse at night — when there is neither electricity nor light.
      Are NGOs permitted?

      After the first two cases of coronavirus infection were discovered in the camp earlier in September, the Greek authorities imposed a lockdown that is to last until the end of the month. Over the past week — including as recently as Sunday evening — fires broke out in the camp. It remains unclear what caused the fires. But Greek politicians are warning of copycat effects following fires at the Moria camp on Lesbos, and even excusing the camp residents of engaging in arson to escape the miserable conditions.

      In the future, 2,100 will be held at the camp — 900 of them in a closed-off area where they will wait for decisions on their cases, according to Jonathan Vigneron, project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Samos. The numbers are taken from a map that the migration minister handed out during his visit. Vigneron said the whole thing reminded him of a prison.

      “It’s a very scary thing to see,” Vigneron said. He added that issues that international organizations had asked for clarity on included whether NGOs such as MSF would even be permitted to work in the new camp. The registration procedure for NGOs makes access almost impossible, he said. In an open letter, 68 organizations wrote that conditions in the camp could create “a worrying situation with regard to human dignity.”

      Displaced people might have a better standard of accommodation and more security at the closed camp, Vigneron said, but they would have nothing to do and no freedom of movement. “The camp is 5 kilometers away from any place,” Vigneron said. “It’s not marginalizing people: This is segregation by definition.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27510/after-moria-eu-to-try-closed-asylum-camps-on-greek-islands

    • #Moria_2.0': refugees who escaped fire now living in ’worse’ conditions

      More than 7,500 people living in tents on squalid settlement, with two other camps on Lesbos set to close

      Thousands of people who fled the fire that destroyed the infamous Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, last month are living in dire and unsanitary conditions in a temporary settlement with little access to water or basic sanitation.

      Just over 7,500 people are now living in tents among the rubble and dust of a former shooting range in an informal settlement that has become known as “Moria 2.0”.

      The camp, located at the edge of the sea, is exposed to the elements. Residents are allowed to leave the camp between 8am–8pm every day apart from Sunday. People wash their clothes and bodies in the sea because there is not enough running water. In the past week more than 1,600 recognised refugees have been moved to less crowded camps and hotels on the mainland, where they have said conditions are better.

      Semin, a 23-year-old economics graduate from a Kabul university, said she cried when she found out she wouldn’t be moving to the mainland.

      “My mother tries not to eat a lot of food because she doesn’t want to go to the toilet,” she said, and explained that some people were walking to a nearby town to use toilets in cafes instead of using camp toilets.

      “This camp is not good for children or old people,” she added. She said that the electricity, which is powered by generators, didn’t always work.

      A spokesperson for the Greek ministry of migration said that there were 400 toilets in the camp and that these were cleaned every day.

      Shad Mohammed, a refugee from Afghanistan, said he was having to find ways to cook his own food using salvaged pots and pans from Moria because his children could not eat the food in the new camp.

      Two other remaining camps on the island, Pikpa and Kara Tepe, which are both for vulnerable people, are now facing closure. Kara Tepe, which has a capacity for around 1,000 people, will be closed by the end of the year. Pikpa, a small brightly-coloured camp with notably good conditions, faces closure by authorities next week.

      Carmen Dupont from Lesvos Solidarity, an NGO operating in Pikpa, said she had been shocked to hear news of the closures. “At a time when we hear from the European Union: ‘no more Moria’, a new Moria has been built and the conditions – as far as we hear from the people inside – are worse than at the previous camp.”

      Dupont said the situation for those stuck on Lesbos and other Greek islands seemed to be deteriorating. “There seems to be a very clear agenda linked to the migration pact and the European Union’s direction, which is of containment. Keeping people trapped and locked in inhumane camps in hellish conditions and at the same time, erasing and closing the dignified shelters that exist.

      “It is a very clear agenda that we are resisting because Pikpa is much more than a place. We are defending the idea and values of solidarity, equality, dignity and connection.”

      Médecins Sans Frontières have also expressed concerns about the new camp. “We know that the camp has very minimal services,” said Marco Sandrone, the MSF project coordinator on Lesbos. “[The closure of Kara Tepe and Pikpa] is extremely concerning, because the lack of appropriate accommodation for vulnerable categories has always been an issue.”

      Meanwhile, as residents at “Moria 2.0” tried to make the best of the situation, the community at Pikpa were planning to spend their final days lobbying to save the space. Last week a group of children from the camp spent the day painting a mural reading: “Save Pikpa. Love you Pikpa.”

      A spokesperson for the ministry of migration said residents of Pikpa and Kara Tepe would have their asylum claims “accelerated”. A successful asylum claim would mean they would be moved to the mainland while a rejection would result in them being detained and – pending appeal – deported.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/07/moria-20-refugees-who-escaped-fire-now-living-in-worse-conditions?CMP=s

    • Un mois après les incendies à Moria, le HCR lance une mise en garde contre une dégradation des conditions à l’arrivée de l’hiver

      Quatre semaines après les incendies qui ont détruit le centre d’accueil et d’identification de Moria à Lesbos, le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, réitère son appel pour que des mesures et des améliorations urgentes soient prises afin d’éviter une nouvelle détérioration des conditions de vie d’environ 7800 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile actuellement hébergés dans le site d’urgence de Kara Tepe.

      Le froid et l’arrivée de l’hiver ne feront qu’aggraver les difficultés endurées par cette population. Il existe des lacunes critiques en matière de drainage, d’eau, d’installations d’assainissement et d’hygiène, et de services de santé, auxquelles il faut remédier sans délai.

      Les fortes pluies du 8 octobre dernier ont aggravé la situation des résidents du site d’urgence. Des tentes ont été inondées. Le HCR a effectué des visites de suivi en matière de protection pour évaluer la situation sur ce site suite aux fortes pluies et a donné la priorité aux bâches pour les personnes dont les tentes ont été affectées par les fortes pluies. Les réfugiés eux-mêmes ont également trouvé d’autres solutions provisoires, comme le creusement de canaux et de tranchées pour évacuer l’eau autour de leurs tentes et éviter les inondations, car le drainage fait défaut à travers tout le site.

      Le centre d’accueil et d’identification de Moria a été dévasté par des incendies le 9 septembre dernier, forçant quelque 12 000 hommes, femmes et enfants à vivre dans la rue. Les autorités grecques avaient rapidement mobilisé l’armée grecque et les partenaires humanitaires pour ouvrir un centre d’accueil d’urgence. Des efforts importants ont été déployés par les autorités nationales et les organismes d’aide travaillant à Lesbos. Toutefois, les conditions de vie dans le site d’urgence doivent encore être améliorées de toute urgence.

      Le HCR et d’autres partenaires humanitaires ont alerté les autorités grecques sur les dangers et les risques liés à la sécurité sur le site d’urgence, exigeant une action immédiate de leur part. La zone est sujette aux inondations et le site actuel sous tente n’est pas équipé pour fournir la protection nécessaire contre les éléments et les basses températures.

      A la demande des autorités grecques et en soutien aux efforts d’aide humanitaire menés par le gouvernement, le HCR fournit du gravier pour aider à réduire le risque d’inondation dans les zones de tentes et les parties communes. Comme le temps se refroidit et devient plus humide, nous fournissons des kits d’isolation et des planchers composés de palettes et de plaques de contreplaqué pour les tentes familiales.

      Toutefois, il ne s’agit là que d’interventions à court terme qui ne peuvent être considérées comme adéquates ou suffisantes pour résister à l’hiver. Nous avons souligné auprès des autorités que des efforts à grande échelle sont nécessaires, notamment pour assurer rapidement un drainage efficace sur l’ensemble du site et garantir de meilleures solutions d’hébergement pour les personnes les plus vulnérables et leurs familles. Parallèlement, nous continuons à demander davantage de transferts vers le continent dans des logements décents.

      Avec l’arrivée de nouvelles précipitations et d’autres conditions climatiques difficiles, le HCR exhorte à une action immédiate sur toutes les îles grecques de la mer Égée. A Samos, où près de 4500 personnes continuent de séjourner dans des conditions précaires et surpeuplées, la plupart d’entre elles dorment dans des tentes d’été ou des abris de fortune dans les bois, en périphérie du centre d’accueil prévu pour accueillir seulement 650 personnes. La souffrance de ces personnes peut être évitée, grâce à des préparatifs contre les conditions hivernales et à des transferts plus nombreux vers des logements décents.

      Parallèlement, le HCR est encouragé par les efforts menés durant le dernier mois pour décongestionner les sites surpeuplés à travers les îles de la mer Égée, par le biais de transferts vers le continent des demandeurs d’asile les plus vulnérables et des personnes ayant obtenu le statut de réfugié de la part des autorités grecques. Nous continuons à apporter notre appui et à encourager l’accélération de ces efforts.

      A un moment où les besoins en termes de logements appropriés pour les demandeurs d’asile en Grèce sont accrus, le HCR est particulièrement préoccupé par la fermeture annoncée des installations sur l’île de Lesbos, qui avaient été consacrées à l’hébergement de centaines de familles, de femmes et d’enfants parmi les plus vulnérables.

      Il s’agit notamment du centre d’hébergement communautaire de Kara Tepe et de PIKPA, un espace de solidarité autogéré. L’un des fondateurs de cet espace avait reçu la distinction Nansen du HCR pour les réfugiés en 2016. L’activiste grecque Efi Latsoudi a travaillé sans relâche pour aider des milliers de réfugiés arrivant sur les côtes grecques, en offrant un refuge aux plus vulnérables après leur arrivée.

      En attendant des solutions plus complètes et plus dignes, le HCR appelle les autorités grecques à veiller à ce que de telles initiatives continuent d’exister pour assurer la protection et répondre aux besoins spécifiques des réfugiés particulièrement vulnérables.

      https://www.unhcr.org/fr/news/briefing/2020/10/5f8057a5a/mois-apres-incendies-moria-hcr-lance-mise-garde-contre-degradation-conditions

    • “No more Moria”? Rainfall floods dozens of tents in Kara Tepe camp

      Dozens of tents were flooded and large parts of Kara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesvos came under water after a strong rainfall on Thursday, an expected development as many people warned about from the very first moment the camp was set up.

      the European Commission slogan “No More Moria” turned into “flooded Kara Tepe” instead.

      The rainfall destroyed 80 out of 1,100 tents and left families with children and elderly again without a roof over their heads.


      https://twitter.com/InfoMigrants/status/1314500743685189632

      3 out of 15 demarcated areas in the camp stand under water.

      For the Migration and Asylum Ministry reason for the floods is the heavy rainfall and the hastily way the camp was set up due to the fire in Moria hotspot.


      https://twitter.com/Malichudis/status/1314242613675995137

      “It is obvious that a temporary structure that was built in a few days will face problems, however, the problems have been addressed immediately,” Ministry sources said according to local media.

      The sources said that the services of the Migration Ministry that operate in the field, in collaboration with Civil Society volunteers, have already proceeded to:

      Transfer of residents to flooded tents, to common areas (rub halls) , where they will remain until further notice.
      Restoration or removal of the approximately 80 tents affected, as 2,500 residents have already left the temporary structure in Kara Tepe and additional 1,300 will leave for relocation abroad.
      Distribution of waterproof covers in order to strengthen the roofs of the tents.

      Drainage works are expected to be concluded in a week.

      “After all, winterization projects are in progress from the first moment,” the sources said..

      They added “the effectiveness of the first infrastructure and protection projects is proven by the fact that the overwhelming percentage of the structure was not affected by the rainfall.”

      The Migration Ministry submitted a relevant Technical Bulletin totaling 5,580,000 euros to the Ministry of Development and Investment, which has already been approved and the projects will be implemented immediately. The projects are funded by the European Union “.

      The sources stressed that the damages in Kara Tepe demonstrate the need for the immediate implementation of the project of the new closed / controlled structure, a structure that will offer better living conditions, modern facilities and more security.”

      PS all in all the Greek Migration Ministry is satisfied with its accomplishments then “only 80 tents were flooded.” Thank goodness, the rain did not come from the other side flooding another 80.

      And it is still autumn…

      The United Nations High Commissioner for Refuges warns of worsening conditions ahead of the winter.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/10/09/kara-tepe-camp-lesvos-flooded
      #inondations

    • UNHCR calls for action after migrant camp floods

      A month after fire razed the sprawling Moria reception center on the Aegean island of Lesvos, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, has called for “urgent action” after heavy rain flooded tents at a new facility set up to replace the camp.

      “Urgent action and improvements are needed to avoid further deterioration of living conditions for some 7,800 refugees and asylum-seekers currently sheltered in the emergency site in Kara Tepe,” the UNHCR said in a statement on Friday.

      It said some “interim solutions” were found in the wake of the flooding caused by Thursday’s rainfall but warned that, “colder weather and the onset of winter will only bring more hardship for the people there.”

      Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said that the majority of the facility had not been affected by the flooding and that those migrants whose tents were flooded were temporarily moved to “common areas.”

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257929/article/ekathimerini/news/unhcr-calls-for-action-after-migrant-camp-floods

    • Moria 2.0: The new Lesbos refugee camp

      A month ago, on September 12, the Greek government opened a new migrant camp on Lesbos, after Moria was destroyed by fire. The new camp is home to about 10,000. InfoMigrants went to meet some of them last week.

      The last warmth of autumn is fading on Lesbos, the Greek island that will be remembered as the site of Europe’s largest migrant camp, Moria, which burned to the ground a month ago.

      After the fire, some of the most vulnerable migrants were taken to facilities on the Greek mainland or to other European countries. Those remaining, around 10,000 people including babies, the elderly and ill, moved into the new temporary tent facility on a former military site. Before moving there, they had spent up to ten days sleeping by the roadside in the open.

      Access to the camp is restricted and the Greek authorities do not welcome visitors. There is a large police presence in and around the camp to ensure that the violence of Moria is not repeated. Asylum seekers are searched for drugs and weapons every time they re-enter the facility. This also means waiting in line to receive a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 .

      The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum promised that people would have decent living conditions, medical treatment and supplies including running water, electricity and wifi. Once a day, the residents receive a food package containing three meals, but many supplement these rations by cooking their own food over small fires along the sea shore.

      As there are no showers in the camp, people have to wash with a hose-pipe or in the sea. Many people InfoMigrants spoke to said this was causing serious problems for women who needed privacy.

      Children and adults wait in line to fill their containers with cold water from a hose. There is no physical distancing or any other protection against virus transmission.

      Camp residents who are ill with coronavirus are in a fenced-off area.

      Without insulation the tents can become too hot to stay inside even when the outside temperature is less than 28 degrees Celsius. In winter, when it drops to around six degrees, they will offer little protection against cold.

      The camp went up quickly before drains were dug, and the first rain a day after this photo was taken on October 7, flooded the tents. A number of migrants complained that they were living “worse than animals.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27851/moria-2-0-the-new-lesbos-refugee-camp

    • Lesbos: Is another Moria in the making?

      Rains have flooded a camp set up to replace the burned-down Moria camp for displaced people and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos. People seeking to make a new life for themselves are instead mired in mud.

      There are huge puddles in front of the tents at the Kara Tepe camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. A woman holding a newborn baby in a thick pink blanket watches children splash through the water, barefoot or in flip-flops. People are using shovels in often vain efforts to remove the murky water from inside the tents. The rainwater has even seeped underneath the plastic groundsheets, causing them to bulge in places.

      The videos and photos circulating on Twitter and other internet platforms give the world an idea of how helpless the people on Lesbos must have felt after the massive rains this week. “The water came into our tent and everything was flooded,” Ahmad Shuaib Abawi told DW. The 26-year-old Afghan and his family of nine live in one of the approximately 1,100 tents in what the Greek authorities refer to as a “temporary camp.”

      Conditions were supposed to be different there — more orderly, safer — after the controversial and completely overcrowded Moria refugee camp burned down about a month ago.

      80 tents destroyed by water

      Even before the heavy rainfalls, critics called the new camp, which is being called Moria 2 by some, “inhumane.” The rains have now destroyed about 80 of the 1,100 tents. According to the Greek Immigration Ministry, the authorities immediately started to fix the problem, arguing that it is normal for “temporary accommodation built within just a few days” to face challenges.

      The ministry said only a small part of the camp was affected by the floods and that some of the refugees had been temporarily relocated. According to the Greek government, almost 10,000 people currently live at the Kara Tepe camp.

      Waiting all day long

      “It’s really horrible,” said Marion MacGregor, who has been on the ground in Lesbos for the InfoMigrants online portal for the past few days. The refugees are not doing well and the psychological strain, in particular, is enormous, she said. “They do not want to lose years of their lives waiting around in these conditions; they just want to have their asylum application interviews and get on with it” she said. Instead, many face a long wait in the camp, knowing that winter is coming, there are no showers and there is not enough food.

      In good weather, the location of the camp could even be described as idyllic. It is situated right on the coast and the morning sun occasionally bathes the tents in soft orange light. But in reality, Kara Tepe has little of the idyll about it.

      “People wash in the ocean,” MacGregor said, adding that this is a problem in particular for the women, as they have no privacy. Portable toilets have been set up — altogether 345 of them, camp residents have told workers from the aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

      Food packages are not enough

      “Once a day, they are handed a packet of food, but that’s not enough,” MacGregor said — which is why some refugees try to sell bottles or handkerchiefs in the city to buy extra food. But thanks to solar panels, many people in the camp at least have electricity.

      Is the situation in the new camp better than in Moria, despite the many privations? Residents of the camp are divided in their opinion. MacGregor has heard that there is less violence, at least, thanks to the enormous police presence in front of and inside the camp.

      Ahmad Shuaib Abawi also had a relatively positive view — of the camp, at least. “We are not doing badly here, but we are wasting time; the children could go to school and we could study,” he said, adding that he wants to get on with his life rather than get stuck.

      Seven square meters for two families

      “The conditions in the new camp remind us a lot of Moria, while we hear from our patients that in reality, the situation is even worse,” said Marco Sandrone, director of operations for MSF on Lesbos, adding it appears that some tents have no groundsheet at all. “Before the rains, people slept on rocky or dusty ground, which has since become muddy,” he said. Many families have to share tents; they cook, eat and sleep on about 7 square meters (75 square feet), he added.

      https://twitter.com/MSF_Sea/status/1314245456189415424

      The local aid organizations agree the living conditions are not humane despite promises by the Greek Immigration Ministry to provide “decent conditions,” medical care and sufficient food. “Enough is enough!” several aid organizations, including MSF, say in a joint statement. “We reaffirm our call to move these people to safe and decent housing. Other European countries must also accept those seeking protection in order to relieve the situation on the Greek islands.”

      Appeal to EU

      About 2,500 refugees housed at the Kara Tepe camp have been transferred to other accommodation within the EU since September, and 1,300 are expected to leave the camp soon, according to the Greek Migration Ministry. Germany agreed to take in 1,500 refugees from Greece; France expects 900.

      The aid organizations argue that is not enough. They call on EU leaders and member state to stop sealing off the Greek islands and reinforcing the bloc’s external borders. For the time being, however, nothing is likely to change at the Kara Tepe camp. The waiting continues, along with hopes that the next rain will not flood everything again.

      https://www.dw.com/en/lesbos-is-another-moria-in-the-making/a-55249863

    • Deutsche Welle publie un article sur les dénonciations de la situation inhumaine au camp de Kara Tepe à Lesbos et sur l’appel dit ‘Appel de Noël’ de 240 parlementaires du Bundestag de tout bord qui demandent d’accueillir plus de réfugiés venant des îles grecques

      Γερμανική κριτική για την κατάσταση στο Καρά Τεπέ
      https://www.dw.com/el/%CE%B3%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%BC%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE-%CE%BA%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%B7%CE%BD-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%AC%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B7-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC-%CF%84%CE%B5%CF%80%CE%AD/a-55973267

      17.12.2020

      La situation à Kara Tepe vivement critiquée en Allemagne

      La situation est pire que dans les camps en Afrique, dit le ministre Gerd Müller. Fin décembre, tous les mineurs isolés ou malades seront transférés des îles grecques. Appel de 240 parlementaires allemands.

      Le ministre allemand du Développement économique, Gerd Müller, a vivement critiqué la situation dans le camp de réfugiés de Kara Tepe. S’exprimant sur RTL / ntv ce matin, il a souligné que « c’est en effet un grand scandale pour l’UE que jusqu’à présent nous n’ayons pas pu, malgré l’incendie de Moria il y a quelques mois, créer une situation qui serait vraiment humaine ». M. Müller, le ministre chargé de la coopération avec les pays en développement, a déclaré que la situation à Lesbos était pire que dans les camps de réfugiés en Afrique.

      Gerd Müller : L’UE est coresponsable de la situation à Kara Tepe

      Le politicien de l’Union chrétienne-sociale (CSU) a évoqué à plusieurs reprises la situation dans les camps des îles grecques et a exhorté le gouvernement allemand à accepter des réfugiés de Grèce. Plusieurs fois il s’est opposé au ministre de l’Intérieur Horst Seehofer, qui appartient également à la CSU. Contrairement à Gerd Müller, Seehofer rejette les initiatives uniquement allemandes sur la question migratoire et insiste sur une ligne européenne unique. Mais un porte-parole du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur a déclaré ces dernières semaines que les efforts de la présidence allemande de l’UE au cours des six derniers mois pour réformer la politique d’asile européenne avaient échoué.

      L’Allemagne continue d’accepter des réfugiés de Grèce

      S’exprimant hier après-midi au parlement allemand sur la question de l’accueil des réfugiés de Grèce, le vice-ministre de l’Intérieur Volkmar Vogel a annoncé que le 3 décembre, les derniers mineurs isolés que l’Allemagne avait promis d’accepter sont arrivés des îles grecques. Quant aux 243 autres enfants réfugiés malades, ainsi que leurs familles, que le gouvernement allemand s’est également engagé à accueillir, M. Vogel a exprimé l’espoir que d’ici la fin du mois, ils seraient tous arrivés. Cependant, en raison de la pandémie de coronavirus, les procédures d’accueil des 1553 réfugiés des îles grecques, que l’Allemagne avait annoncé vouloir accueillir après l’incendie de Moria, elles vont s’étaler sur plusieurs mois.

      M. Vogel a clairement indiqué qu’à l’heure actuelle, l’Allemagne n’avait pas l’intention d’accepter d’autres réfugiés de Grèce et que la question concernait l’UE dans son ensemble. Le principal objectif du gouvernement allemand est d’améliorer la situation des réfugiés en Grèce. Evoquant les camps de réfugiés sur les îles grecques et en particulier à Lesbos, Volkmar Vogel a déclaré que le gouvernement allemand « regrette la situation » là-bas et qu’il tente « dans la mesure de ses capacités » d’aider sur le terrain.

      Appel de plus de 240 députés

      Les législateurs allemands demandent au gouvernement allemand d’accepter plus de réfugiés de Grèce

      Selon l’agence de presse epd [Evangelischer Pressedienst, epd], plus de 240 députés allemands signent un « appel de Noël », demandant au gouvernement allemand d’ accepter davantage de réfugiés de Grèce et de redoubler d’efforts pour trouver une solution au niveau de l’UE. L’appel est signé par les députés de tous des partis autres que l’AfD, Alternative nationaliste et xénophobe pour l’Allemagne. Parmi eux se trouvent les présidents des sociaux-démocrates, Saskia Esken et des Verts, Annalena Baerbock, la vice-présidente de la Chambre, le libéral, Wolfgang Kubicki, l’ancien président des chrétiens-démocrates, Volker Kauder et la parlementaire Ulla Jelpke du Die Linke.

      Panagiotis Kouparanis, Berlin

      –—

      Voir l’article de SDZ (en allemand)

      Migration und Asyl:Abgeordnete verlangen mehr Hilfe für Flüchtlinge
      https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/migration-und-asyl-abgeordnete-verlangen-mehr-hilfe-fuer-fluechtlinge-1

      17. Dezember 2020, 18:50 Uhr

      In einem « Weihnachtsappell » fordern 240 Parlamentarier fast aller Fraktionen fordern die Bundesregierung auf, mehr für Schutzsuchende in Griechenland zu tun.

      Von Constanze von Bullion, Berlin, dit le ministre Gerd Müller. Fin décembre, tous les mineurs isolés ou malades seront transférés des îles grecques. Appel de 240 membres allemands.

      Le ministre allemand du Développement économique, Gerd Müller, a vivement critiqué la situation dans le camp de réfugiés de Kara Tepe. S’exprimant sur RTL / ntv ce matin, il a souligné que « c’est en effet un grand scandale pour l’UE que jusqu’à présent nous n’ayons pas pu, malgré l’incendie de Moria il y a quelques mois, créer une situation qui serait vraiment humaine ». M. Müller, le ministre chargé de la coopération avec les pays en développement, a déclaré que la situation à Lesbos était pire que dans les camps de réfugiés en Afrique.

      Gerd Müller : L’UE est coresponsable de la situation à Kara Tepe

      Le politicien de l’Union chrétienne-sociale (CSU) a évoqué à plusieurs reprises la situation dans les camps des îles grecques et a exhorté le gouvernement allemand à accepter des réfugiés de Grèce. Plusieurs fois il s’est opposé au ministre de l’Intérieur Horst Seehofer, qui appartient également à la CSU. Contrairement à Gerd Müller, Seehofer rejette les initiatives uniquement allemandes sur la question migratoire et insiste sur une ligne européenne unique. Mais un porte-parole du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur a déclaré ces dernières semaines que les efforts de la présidence allemande de l’UE au cours des six derniers mois pour réformer la politique d’asile européenne avaient échoué.

      L’Allemagne continue d’accepter des réfugiés de Grèce

      S’exprimant hier après-midi au parlement allemand sur la question de l’accueil des réfugiés de Grèce, le vice-ministre de l’Intérieur Volkmar Vogel a annoncé que le 3 décembre, les derniers mineurs isolés que l’Allemagne avait promis d’accepter sont arrivés des îles grecques. Quant aux 243 autres enfants réfugiés malades, ainsi que leurs familles, que le gouvernement allemand s’est également engagé à accueillir, M. Vogel a exprimé l’espoir que d’ici la fin du mois, ils seraient tous arrivés. Cependant, en raison de la pandémie de coronavirus, les procédures d’accueil des 1553 réfugiés des îles grecques, que l’Allemagne avait annoncé vouloir accueillir après l’incendie de Moria, elles vont s’étaler sur plusieurs mois.

      M. Vogel a clairement indiqué qu’à l’heure actuelle, l’Allemagne n’avait pas l’intention d’accepter d’autres réfugiés de Grèce et que la question concernait l’UE dans son ensemble. Le principal objectif du gouvernement allemand est d’améliorer la situation des réfugiés en Grèce. Evoquant les camps de réfugiés sur les îles grecques et en particulier à Lesbos, Volkmar Vogel a déclaré que le gouvernement allemand « regrette la situation » là-bas et qu’il tente « dans la mesure de ses capacités » d’aider sur le terrain.

      Appel de plus de 240 députés

      Les législateurs allemands demandent au gouvernement allemand d’accepter plus de réfugiés de Grèce

      Selon l’agence de presse epd [Evangelischer Pressedienst, epd], plus de 240 députés allemands signent un « appel de Noël », appelant le gouvernement allemand à accepter davantage de réfugiés de Grèce et à redoubler d’efforts pour trouver une solution au niveau de l’UE. L’appel est signé par les députés de tous des partis autres que l’AfD, Alternative nationaliste et xénophobe pour l’Allemagne. Parmi eux se trouvent les présidents des sociaux-démocrates, Saskia Esken et des Verts, Annalena Baerbock, la vice-présidente de la Chambre, le libéral, Wolfgang Kubicki, l’ancien président des chrétiens-démocrates, Volker Kauder et la parlementaire Ulla Jelpke du Die Linke.

      Panagiotis Kouparanis, Berlin

      Voir l’article de SDZ (en allemand)

      https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/migration-und-asyl-abgeordnete-verlangen-mehr-hilfe-fuer-fluechtlinge-1

      17. Dezember 2020, 18:50 Uhr

      Migration und Asyl:Abgeordnete verlangen mehr Hilfe für Flüchtlinge

      In einem « Weihnachtsappell » fordern 240 Parlamentarier fast aller Fraktionen fordern die Bundesregierung auf, mehr für Schutzsuchende in Griechenland zu tun.

      Von Constanze von Bullion, Berlin dit le ministre Gerd Müller. Fin décembre, tous les mineurs isolés ou malades seront transférés des îles grecques. Appel de 240 membres allemands.

      Le ministre allemand du Développement économique, Gerd Müller, a vivement critiqué la situation dans le camp de réfugiés de Kara Tepe. S’exprimant sur RTL / ntv ce matin, il a souligné que « c’est en effet un grand scandale pour l’UE que jusqu’à présent nous n’ayons pas pu, malgré l’incendie de Moria il y a quelques mois, créer une situation qui serait vraiment humaine ». M. Müller, le ministre chargé de la coopération avec les pays en développement, a déclaré que la situation à Lesbos était pire que dans les camps de réfugiés en Afrique.

      Gerd Müller : L’UE est coresponsable de la situation à Kara Tepe

      Le politicien de l’Union chrétienne-sociale (CSU) a évoqué à plusieurs reprises la situation dans les camps des îles grecques et a exhorté le gouvernement allemand à accepter des réfugiés de Grèce. Plusieurs fois il s’est opposé au ministre de l’Intérieur Horst Seehofer, qui appartient également à la CSU. Contrairement à Gerd Müller, Seehofer rejette les initiatives uniquement allemandes sur la question migratoire et insiste sur une ligne européenne unique. Mais un porte-parole du ministère allemand de l’Intérieur a déclaré ces dernières semaines que les efforts de la présidence allemande de l’UE au cours des six derniers mois pour réformer la politique d’asile européenne avaient échoué.

      L’Allemagne continue d’accepter des réfugiés de Grèce

      S’exprimant hier après-midi au parlement allemand sur la question de l’accueil des réfugiés de Grèce, le vice-ministre de l’Intérieur Volkmar Vogel a annoncé que le 3 décembre, les derniers mineurs isolés que l’Allemagne avait promis d’accepter sont arrivés des îles grecques. Quant aux 243 autres enfants réfugiés malades, ainsi que leurs familles, que le gouvernement allemand s’est également engagé à accueillir, M. Vogel a exprimé l’espoir que d’ici la fin du mois, ils seraient tous arrivés. Cependant, en raison de la pandémie de coronavirus, les procédures d’accueil des 1553 réfugiés des îles grecques, que l’Allemagne avait annoncé vouloir accueillir après l’incendie de Moria, elles vont s’étaler sur plusieurs mois.

      M. Vogel a clairement indiqué qu’à l’heure actuelle, l’Allemagne n’avait pas l’intention d’accepter d’autres réfugiés de Grèce et que la question concernait l’UE dans son ensemble. Le principal objectif du gouvernement allemand est d’améliorer la situation des réfugiés en Grèce. Evoquant les camps de réfugiés sur les îles grecques et en particulier à Lesbos, Volkmar Vogel a déclaré que le gouvernement allemand « regrette la situation » là-bas et qu’il tente « dans la mesure de ses capacités » d’aider sur le terrain.

      Appel de plus de 240 députés

      Les législateurs allemands demandent au gouvernement allemand d’accepter plus de réfugiés de Grèce

      Selon l’agence de presse epd [Evangelischer Pressedienst, epd], plus de 240 députés allemands signent un « appel de Noël », appelant le gouvernement allemand à accepter davantage de réfugiés de Grèce et à redoubler d’efforts pour trouver une solution au niveau de l’UE. L’appel est signé par les députés de tous des partis autres que l’AfD, Alternative nationaliste et xénophobe pour l’Allemagne. Parmi eux se trouvent les présidents des sociaux-démocrates, Saskia Esken et des Verts, Annalena Baerbock, la vice-présidente de la Chambre, le libéral, Wolfgang Kubicki, l’ancien président des chrétiens-démocrates, Volker Kauder et la parlementaire Ulla Jelpke du Die Linke.

      Panagiotis Kouparanis, Berlin

      Voir l’article de SDZ (en allemand)

      https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/migration-und-asyl-abgeordnete-verlangen-mehr-hilfe-fuer-fluechtlinge-1

      17. Dezember 2020, 18:50 Uhr

      Migration und Asyl:Abgeordnete verlangen mehr Hilfe für Flüchtlinge

      In einem « Weihnachtsappell » fordern 240 Parlamentarier fast aller Fraktionen fordern die Bundesregierung auf, mehr für Schutzsuchende in Griechenland zu tun.

      Von Constanze von Bullion, Berlin

    • Après le froid glacial le camp de Kara Tepe sous la neige
      Μετά το τσουχτερό κρύο ήρθε και το χιόνι στο καταυλισμό του Καρά Τεπέ

      Σήμερα το πρωί και αργότερα το μεσημέρι, ο χιονιάς έφτασε και στη πόλη της Μυτιλήνης καλύπτοντας τα πάντα και ασφαλώς τον καταυλισμό με τους 7.500 ανθρώπους που εξακολουθούν να διαμένουν σε σκηνές, πολλές από αυτές χωρίς να διαθέτουν πάτωμα.

      Επιπλέον, ο καταυλισμός εξακολουθεί να λειτουργεί με ανεπαρκή ρευματοδότηση με αποτέλεσμα πλέον εκεί να κινδυνεύουν ζωές.
      Συγκεκριμένα, η παροχή ρεύματος γίνεται ανά πτέρυγα και μόνο για μισή ώρα προκειμένου σταδιακά να πάρουν ολες οι σκηνές. Αποτέλεσμα όμως είναι υπό αυτές τις συνθήκες οι πρόσφυγες να περνούν δραματικές ώρες και άνθρωποι που είναι σε θέση να γνωρίζουν εκφράζουν φόβους για μεγάλο αριθμό ασθενών που θα χρειαστούν νοσηλεία το επόμενο διάστημα.

      Αντί όμως οι υπεύθυνοι όλο το προηγούμενο διάστημα να προετοιμαστούν κατάλληλα, άφησαν τον καταυλισμό με την ελάχιστη δυνατότητα ρευματοδότησης.
      Χαρακτηριστικό είναι ότι και ορισμένες γεννήτριες που είχε δωρίσει γνωστή ΜΚΟ και γλίτωσαν από την καταστροφή της Μόριας, σταμάτησαν να λειτουργούν το προηγούμενο διάστημα, αφού καταστράφηκαν από τις πλημμύρες που είχαν προηγηθεί.

      Από την πλευρά του ο διοικητής του καμπ Νίκος Μπαμπάκος, σε τηλεφωνική επικοινωνία με την ΕΦ.ΣΥΝ., δήλωσε ότι « οι γεννήτριες που υπάρχουν τώρα μπορούν να καλύψουν τις ανάγκες του καταυλισμού για 16 ώρες την ημέρα. Είμαστε όμως υποχρεωμένοι να τις κλείνουμε το πρωί, ενώ μία από αυτές δυστυχώς έπαθε βλάβη.

      Προχωράμε στη διαδικασία της αντικατάστασης της και αναμένουμε μία εφεδρική από την Αθήνα » σημείωσε.

      Όπως μάλιστα τόνισε το πρόβλημα ξεκινά από το γεγονός ότι ο καταυλισμός δεν έχει ακόμη σύνδεση με το κεντρικό δίκτυο της ΔΕΗ, παρά το γεγονός ότι βρίσκεται πολύ κοντά στο εργοστάσιο.

      « Δυστυχώς η γραφειοκρατία ακόμα δεν μας έχει επιτρέψει τη σύνδεση » είπε, χαρακτηριζοντας την κατάσταση δύσκολη αλλά αντιμετωπίσημη.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/node/277445

      #neige #froid

  • Outbreak reported at Athens children’s home

    Teams of health workers were dispatched on Monday to a home for unaccompanied refugee children in Athens in a bid to contain an outbreak of #Covid-19.

    According to the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, the outbreak at the shelter in the eastern suburb of #Vyronas was detected on Monday after an unnamed individual presented symptoms of the highly contagious novel coronavirus, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) reported.

    By Monday night, 20 children and eight workers at the facility had tested positive for the virus and just five tested negative, while more results were expected, indicating that the outbreak is quite severe.

    The shelter has been put under strict quarantine and tracing has commenced to identify any other people its workers and residents come into contact with.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/256423/article/ekathimerini/news/outbreak-reported-at-athens-childrens-home
    #coronavirus #contamination #asile #migrations #réfugiés #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #hébergement #Athènes #Grèce #contaminations #covid-19

    –—

    Contaminations dans 2 autres centres d’accueil pour migrant·es :
    – Lesbos : https://seenthis.net/messages/872979
    – Chios (#Vial) : https://seenthis.net/messages/871934

    • IRC calls for urgent evacuation of the most vulnerable refugees, as first Coronavirus case confirmed in Moria

      The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesvos, where over 12,000 refugees remain crammed inside and around the camp, despite numerous demands for evacuation.

      Overcrowding and limited access to clean water and washing facilities have left tens of thousands of people across the Greek islands vulnerable and exposed to the virus. COVID-19 could spread rapidly and those at risk, including the elderly, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions, must be urgently evacuated to safety before it is too late. In the meantime, they should be ensured access to all measures of protection and medical assistance that Greek people have.

      The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is working to provide hygiene materials and sanitation facilities to asylum seekers on Lesvos, and has installed a COVID-19 triage centre outside Moria. Our teams also provide mental health support to asylum seekers living in reception facilities across three Aegean islands, where clients have reported a sense of abandonment as a result of the continuous lockdown measures since March, and the undignified conditions they live in.

      Dimitra Kalogeropoulou, IRC Greece Director, said:

      “By now, we know the devastating impact this virus can have on individuals, families and whole communities. People across the globe have been urged to distance themselves from each other in order to prevent its spread, but social distancing and basic hygiene measures like handwashing are simply impossible to adhere to in Moria, where thousands of people live in close proximity to each other with inadequate access to running water and soap.

      “As many people can be carrying the virus but not show any symptoms, it is possible there are more cases of coronavirus that have not been diagnosed. An urgent increase of healthcare and sanitation services is required, including sufficient space for isolation and quarantine.

      “For too long people have been forced to live in camps with severe overcrowding and poor sanitation, waiting for months for the decision on their asylum claims. The ultimate answer to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is through the immediate evacuation of the most vulnerable cases from the camps to safe accommodation. It is untenable that even now, people are forced to live on top of each other.”

      Our experience has shown that the COVID-19 outbreak has amplified the vulnerabilities of people seeking protection. Their dire situation during this public health crisis highlights the need to move away from ‘business as usual’, in order to promote long-term and humane solutions. European leadership is required more than ever before, whether when cooperating on health issues or to ensure those in need are protected and empowered in these difficult times.

      The IRC has provided mental health support to asylum seekers living in Lesvos, Samos and Chios since 2018. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the IRC has scaled up its presence in Lesvos in direct response to the coronavirus outbreak, and a team of new staff members now responsible for key hygiene and health initiatives in Moria, including regular garbage collection and the installation of 24 portable toilets and water points.

      https://reliefweb.int/report/greece/irc-calls-urgent-evacuation-most-vulnerable-refugees-first-coronavirus-ca

    • #Moria camp placed under quarantine after Covid-19 case

      Moria camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos was placed under quarantine on Wednesday after officials confirmed the first coronavirus case in the notoriously overcrowded facility.

      The patient, a 40-year old refugee from Somalia, has been put in isolation, officials said.

      Meanwhile, a team of experts from Greece’s National Organization of Public Health (EODY) were trying to trace the people he had contacted.

      Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday stood at 10,524, with 271 dead.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/256484/article/ekathimerini/news/moria-camp-placed-under-quarantine-after-covid-19-case
      #Lesbos

    • Les premiers résultats de tests Covid-19 effectués sur les personnes vivant aux alentours de la tente du réfugié somalien hospitalisé montrent deux autres cas infectés sur les 500. 1500 tests supplémentaires ont été effectués et sont actuellement en cours d’analyse. Voir (en grec) https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11161/alla-dyo-kroysmata-koronoioy-sto-kyt-ths-morias-realtime

      Au même moment les résidents du camp de #Moria ont refusé pendant deux jours de prendre les plateaux repas qui leur sont distribués, en signe de protestation contre la quarantaine imposée. Ils dénoncent aussi leur impossibilité de se procurer de quoi se nourrir dans les supérettes improvisées qui fonctionnent dans le camp ainsi que la très mauvaise qualité de la nourriture distribuée. Ils protestent également contre la baisse de leur allocation mensuelle qui est passé de 90 à 75 euros. Aux dernières nouvelles les réfugiés ont cessé cette forme de protestation en prenant part à la distribution du repas du soir

      Source en grec https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11170/diamartyries-sth-moria

      Mail de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 06.09.2020

    • 243 Covid-19 cases detected at #Kara_Tepe facility

      A total of 243 coronavirus cases have been detected at the new temporary facility on the Greek island of Lesvos, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday.

      He said authorities have conducted a total of 7,064 rapid tests at the tent camp – set up at Kara Tepe near the port of Mytilene after a blaze destroyed the Moria camp – which currently accommodates 9,200 people according to government estimates.

      The average age of the Covid-19 patients at Kara Tepe is 24 years old and most are asymptomatic, he said.

      A total 160 police and administrative staff all tested negative, he said.

      Petsas said the positive cases from Kara Tepe would be added to the country’s official Covid-19 figures released later in the day.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257196/article/ekathimerini/news/243-covid-19-cases-detected-at-kara-tepe-facility

    • Plus de 240 exilés positifs au Covid dans le camp provisoire de #Lesbos

      Sur les 7 000 demandeurs d’asile testés au coronavirus ces derniers jours à Lesbos en Grèce, plus de 240 sont contaminés, selon une agence sanitaire publique. Un nouveau camp de fortune érigé après que Moria a été réduit en cendres il y a dix jours compte déjà plus de 9 000 personnes pour une capacité totale de 10 000.

      Le nombre de demandeurs d’asile testés positifs au nouveau coronavirus est en forte augmentation ces derniers jours sur l’île grecque de Lesbos : plus de 240 exilés résidant dans un camp provisoire érigé à la hâte la semaine dernière après les incendies du centre d’hébergement pour migrants de Moria ont été contaminés, a annoncé lundi 21 septembre l’agence sanitaire publique Eody, citée par l’AFP.

      Sur les 7 000 personnes testées, « 243 nouvelles infections ont été découvertes », a révélé cet organisme dans un communiqué. Les tests effectués sur 120 policiers et 40 membres du personnel présents sur place ont en revanche été négatifs, selon la même source.

      Chassés de Moria par les flammes des incendies survenues les 8 et 9 septembre, des milliers de personnes ont d’abord trouvé refuge au bord des routes, dans des champs ou encore des bâtisses abandonnées. Sous la pression policière menaçant de ne pas traiter leur dossier de demande d’asile, les sans-abri ont accepté à partir de jeudi dernier de se réinstaller dans un nouveau camp de fortune situé sur un ancien champ de tir à trois kilomètres du port de Mytilène, le chef-lieu de Lesbos.
      D’une capacité maximale de 10 000, ce camp censé être provisoire compte déjà 9 000 personnes. On estime qu’au moins 12 700 exilés ont perdu leur logement de fortune depuis les incendies de Moria. Selon les autorités, le nouveau complexe souffre déjà d’un manque de couchages et est équipé d’installations sanitaires rudimentaires.

      Jusqu’à présent le nombre de contaminations dans le camp de Moria était resté relativement faible au regard des conditions de surpopulation et d’insalubrité des lieux. Pour autant, les camps de migrants et de réfugiés en Grèce sont strictement confinés depuis la mi-mars pour cause du Covid-19 alors que le reste de ce pays est retourné à la normalité début mai. Une situation dénoncée à maintes reprises par des ONG comme Amnesty International.

      Le ministre grec des Migrations Notis Mitarachi a promis lundi devant le parlement qu’un nouveau camp, « moderne » et « sûr », verrait le jour à Lesbos. Et que les responsables des incendies seraient expulsés. Six jeunes demandeurs d’asile afghans, accusés d’en être à l’origine, ont été placés en détention provisoire. Ils sont inculpés d’"incendie volontaire".

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27451/plus-de-240-exiles-positifs-au-covid-dans-le-camp-provisoire-de-lesbos

    • Υγειονομικός αποκλεισμός στη ΒΙΑΛ της Χίου μόνο για πρόσφυγες

      Σε καραντίνα δεν τέθηκαν οι εργαζόμενοι που είχαν έρθει σε επαφή με τα δύο κρούσματα κορονοϊού στις έγκυες.

      « Καραντίνα μόνο για πρόσφυγες » εφαρμόζει το Υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου στη ΒΙΑΛ της Χίου, εξαιρώντας από τα μέτρα τους εργαζόμενους που δουλεύουν σε ευαίσθητους τομείς, όπως τους υπαλλήλους της Υπηρεσίας Πρώτης Υποδοχής, της Υπηρεσίας Ασύλου αλλά και τις δύο μαίες που χθες συνέχιζαν να εργάζονται κανονικά προτού διακόψουν και μάλιστα αιφνιδιαστικά, υπό το πρόσχημα της απεντόμωσης.

      Τα δύο κρούσματα κορονοϊού στις έγκυες και τα πολλαπλά στις επαφές τους έθεσαν το ΚΥΤ σε υγειονομικό αποκλεισμό, αλλά και εξέθεσαν πλήρως την αδυναμία διαχείρισης της κατάστασης έκτακτης ανάγκης στη ΒΙΑΛ.

      Χαρακτηριστικό παράδειγμα οι δύο μαίες που έχει διαθέσει ο ΕΟΔΥ, οι οποίες συνέχισαν να δέχονται επισκέψεις εγκύων, παρά το γεγονός ότι είχαν έρθει σε επαφή με τις ήδη διεγνωσμένες γυναίκες, εκθέτοντας έτσι τον εαυτό τους αλλά και το σύνολο των εγκύων σε κίνδυνο.

      Ξαφνικά οι έγκυες που περίμεναν τη σειρά τους στο ιατρείο πήραν εντολή να βγουν από τον χώρο προκειμένου, όπως τους είπαν, να γίνει « απεντόμωση ». Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, τελικά επρόκειτο για απολύμανση, όπως ήταν φυσικό.

      Πλήρης ασυνεννοησία επικράτησε και στην Υπηρεσία Ασύλου, αφού η πλειονότητα αν όχι το σύνολο των εργαζομένων, έχοντας υπόψη τους από χθες την ΚΥΑ περί υγειονομικού αποκλεισμού, δεν πήγαν στην εργασία τους.

      Ωστόσο, μόλις στις 7.20 το πρωί ενημερώθηκαν ότι θα συνεχίσουν να εργάζονται κανονικά και έτσι σταδιακά από το μεσημέρι οι εργαζόμενοι άρχισαν να εμφανίζονται στις θέσεις τους, την ώρα που είχαν περάσει πια τα προγραμματισμένα ραντεβού για συνεντεύξεις με πρόσφυγες. Εννοείται ότι κανείς μέχρι χθες δεν ήταν σε θέση να πει με βεβαιότητα πότε και αν θα πραγματοποιηθούν οι συγκεκριμένες συνεντεύξεις.

      Στο μεταξύ, μόλις χθες το μεσημέρι το υπουργείο αποφάσισε να υπογράψει τελικά την παροχή των 300.000 ευρώ προς την Περιφέρεια Βορείου Αιγαίου, ώστε να ανοίξει η κάνουλα του Γενικού Λογιστηρίου και να εκταμιευθούν τα χρήματα που προορίζονται για προσλήψεις του απαραίτητου ιατρικού προσωπικού στα ΚΥΤ των νησιών της Περιφέρειας Βορείου Αιγαίου καθώς και για προμήθειες υλικού αντιμετώπισης της πανδημίας.

      Παρόλο που το σχετικό ΦΕΚ είχε υπογραφεί εδώ και καιρό και επιπλέον το ποσό αυτό είχε εγγραφεί στον προϋπολογισμό της Περιφέρειας, ο περιφερειάρχης Κώστας Μουτζούρης είχε αρνηθεί να προχωρήσει στις προσλήψεις και τις προμήθειες προτού να δει το ρευστό στους τραπεζικούς λογαριασμούς της οικονομικής του υπηρεσίας. Με αποτέλεσμα να στερούνται τα ΚΥΤ την παρουσία γιατρών όλο αυτό το κρίσιμο, όπως αποδείχθηκε, διάστημα.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/264424_ygeionomikos-apokleismos-sti-bial-tis-hioy-mono-gia-prosfyges

      –—

      Traduction reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Les employées entrées en contact avec les deux femmes enceintes porteuses de coronavirus n’ont pas été mis en quarantaine.

      La « Quarantaine uniquement pour les réfugiés » est appliquée par le Ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile au hot-spot de VIAL à Chios : les mesures de confinement ne concernent pas les employés du camp qui travaillent dans les secteurs sensibles, comme les employés du Premier Service d’Accueil, du Service d’Asile, mais aussi les deux sages-femmes qui avaient continué à travailler hier normalement avant qu’ils ne s’arrêtent, et même brusquement, sous prétexte de désinfestation.

      Les deux femmes enceintes dépistées positives au coronavirus et les multiples cas parmi leurs contacts placent le Centre de Réception et d’Identification en quarantaine sanitaire, mais le manque de mesures appropriées concernant les employés du camp ont mis en évidence l’incapacité des autorités de gérer la situation d’urgence à VIAL.

      Un exemple typique est cela est le fait que les deux sages-femmes qui avaient été en contact avec les femmes enceintes déjà diagnostiquées, ont continué à recevoir des visites de femmes enceintes, exposant ainsi toutes les femmes enceintes mais aussi s’exposant ainsi elles-mêmes au risque de contamination.

      Le dispensaire gynécologique a fini par fermer pour une opération de désinfestation, mais bien après avoir fonctionné plusieurs heures d’affilés.

      Une incompréhension totale a également prévalu au sein du Service d’Asile, puisque la majorité sinon la totalité des salariés, ayant en tête la décision gouvernementale de confinement sanitaire, ne sont pas allés travailler.

      Cependant, ce n’est qu’à 7 h 20 du matin qu’ils ont été informés qu’ils devraient continuer à travailler normalement et donc progressivement à partir de midi les employés ont commencé à apparaître à leur poste de travail, au moment où les rendez-vous prévus pour les entretiens avec les réfugiés étaient passés. Il va sans dire que jusqu’à hier, personne n’était en mesure de dire avec certitude quand et si les entretiens spécifiques auront lieu.

      En attendant, hier à midi, le ministère a finalement décidé de signer la provision de 300.000 euros à la Région Nord-Égée, afin d’ouvrir la voie à la Comptabilité Générale de débourser l’argent destiné au recrutement du personnel médical nécessaire aux hot-spots des îles de la Région nord de la mer Égée ainsi qu’à la fourniture de matériel de protection contre la pandémie.

    • Chios camp in quarantine after at least 30 test positive for COVID-19

      The Vial camp on the Greek island of Chios has been placed under strict quarantine measures again after it was reported that at least 30 migrants had tested positive for COVID-19.

      The Greek Migration Ministry announced on Wednesday, October 14 that it would be placing the migrant camp at Vial on the Greek island of Chios under quarantine again, after at least 30 migrants reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

      According to the news agency dpa, the quarantine measures will be in place until at least October 21. The ministry said it was now carrying out “extensive health checks.”

      This is the second time the camp on Chios has been placed under quarantine. In August the camp was placed under quarantine after first a Yemeni man and a female employee were reported to have tested positive and then three more residents found they had the virus.

      Unable to leave camp

      In August this year, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR confirmed that there were some 121,400 migrants and refugees in Greece. About 27,700 of those were on the Greek islands and about 3,000 people were thought to be in the Chios camp at the time. At that point the camp was holding about two thirds more than its capacity.

      According to Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, all migrants in the camp will be prevented from leaving its confines and only a “small number of staff members may enter the camp.” Daily Sabah estimates that there are currently “over 3,800 asylum seekers living at the Vial camp.”

      Coronavirus in Greece

      Greece has so far had relatively few cases of coronavirus compared with many other countries in Europe. According to World Health Organization data, between January 3 and October 14 this year, there were 23,060 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 462 deaths.

      However, cases in Greece, like in many other countries, are rising. The country recorded the highest number of daily deaths so far this year on October 12, with 13 people dying from or with COVID-19.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27938/chios-camp-in-quarantine-after-at-least-30-test-positive-for-covid-19