• ‘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

  • ’A mental health emergency’: no end to trauma for refugees on Lesbos | Global development | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/22/a-mental-health-emergency-no-end-to-trauma-for-refugees-on-lesbos
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ac2951555011d9169e38cf44bbd5e71f270dbeb7/0_0_3500_2099/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    In 2020 MSF has treated 49 children on Lesbos with thoughts of suicide or for suicide attempts.The current demand for MSF’s services is more than the organisation can meet and there is a lengthy waiting list for the paediatric clinic and the clinic for victims of torture and sexual violence.Rainfall has left parts of the camp waterlogged and tents have been flooded on more than one occasion. Human rights organisations have raised concerns about substandard living conditions for inhabitants of the camp, dubbed “Moria 2.0” by many on the ground. Thirty-six hot water showers have just been installed but many of the 7,300 residents still shower using buckets or water bottles.Lockdown restrictions mean that residents are only allowed to leave once a week to visit the supermarket, a lawyer or the pharmacy. Exits are monitored and fines given out for residents not wearing masks. “Many children are also afraid of the police,” says Chirvatidis, “they are not perceived as protectors but mainly as punishers.”
    Petra Molnar, from the Migration and Technology Monitor, says security measures are having an impact on people’s mental health. “We are seeing the rise of surveillance technologies like drones patrolling the skies, and the increased use of closed and controlled facilities like the new camp on Lesbos,” she says. “This type of omnipresent surveillance and toxic ongoing stress has long-term mental health repercussions, especially for children.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grece#moria#camp#refugie#sante#santementale#ue#politiquemigratoire#confinement

  • EU policy ‘worsening’ mental health for refugees on Greek islands

    New research says more asylum-seekers stranded in EU’s ‘hotspot’ centres experiencing severe mental health symptoms.

    A prominent humanitarian group has warned of a worsening mental health crisis among asylum-seekers trapped at refugee camps on three Greek islands, saying its research reveals severe symptoms among people of all ages and backgrounds, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and self-harm.

    The International Rescue Committee (IRC), in a new report (https://www.rescue-uk.org/courage-to-continue) on Thursday, said nearly 15,000 people remain stranded at the European-Union funded Reception and Identification Centres, camps known as “hotspots” that were set up on Europe’s borders almost five years ago to swiftly process applications for asylum.

    Citing data collected from 904 asylum-seekers supported by its mental health programmes on the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos, the IRC said one in three of its clients reported suicidal thoughts, while one in five reported having made attempts to take their lives.

    “I even tried to hang myself but my son saw me and called my husband,” Fariba, a 32-year-old Afghan woman, was quoted as saying. The mother of two young children lives in the Vathy camp in the island of Samos.

    “I think about death a lot here: that it would be a good thing for the whole family, that if I could add a medicine in our food and we all died it would be a deliverance. But then I look at my daughter and I think it is not her time yet,” she said.

    The hotspot centres were established up in 2015, when the Aegean islands, especially Lesbos, came under enormous pressure, with nearly a million refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe arriving on the Greek islands.

    In January of this year, the five camps together hosted more than 38,600 asylum-seekers – a number six times higher than the hotspots’ capacity. The number had reduced significantly by November, yet, asylum seekers still live under “inhumane” conditions and “in great distress, with limited access to food, water and sanitation,” read the report.
    ‘Alarming spike’

    On Lesbos, thousands of people live in a temporary camp after a fire burned down their overcrowded facility known as the Moria refugee camp. With winter in full swing, many people now live in tents battered by winds and flooding, the report said, adding an even deeper sense of exhaustion and frustration. On Sunday, the camp of Kara Tepe in Lesbos – where more than 7,000 people live – was flooded for the third time after three days of rain amid stormy weather conditions.

    Mohammad, a 23-year-old Syrian asylum seeker who fled the city of Idlib in 2019, told Al Jazeera how he is affected by depression and sleeping disorders.

    “How could my mental health not be affected? When you wake up and find a rat on your chest, when you are constantly waiting [for your legal status to proceed], when rain is pouring into your tent for days, you have no toilet but just garbage around you?” he said, asking his surname to be withheld as his second attempt to gain residency is under way.

    This is the second winter Mohammad has spent in a self-made wooden hut in what is known as “the jungle” in the island of Samos. The 600-people capacity camp, located on a hill, comprises of tents made out of recycled material and houses more than 3,000 people.

    Mohammad said there were high level of distress and constant fear of possible violent escalations among the residents of the camp. “We need some sort of improvement as it is getting difficult to control the anger,” he said.

    The coronavirus pandemic and the strict restrictions on movement has inflicted further blows.

    The IRC reported an “alarming spike” in the number of people disclosing psychotic symptoms following the pandemic, jumping from one in seven to almost one in four. There was also a sharp rise in people reporting self-harm, which jumped by 66 percent, as well as a surge in those reporting symptoms of PTSD, which climbed from close to half of clients beforehand to almost two in three people.

    These severe symptoms of mental health negatively affect people’s ability to cope with the many challenges they face at the hotspot centres, such as standing in line for hours to get food, or successfully navigate the complex asylum process, the report said.
    ‘Trauma of hotspot centres’

    “Such stressful situation triggers a sort of re-traumatisation,” said Essam Daod, a psychiatric and mental health director of Humanity Crew, an NGO providing first response mental health interventions to refugees in Samos.

    “You left home because you felt hopeless, unsafe and with a massive distrust with the system. You reached Europe and you start to stabilise your mood, but then COVID-19 destroyed all of this triggering the same feeling they had when they were fleeing their own country,” he said.

    IRC found that mental health issues can also cause high levels of stigma and discrimination, while increasing vulnerability to exploitation or violence, including sexual violence.

    Children are also bearing the brunt of the the worsening crisis.

    “When parents break down, it has a major impact on children,” said Thanasis Chirvatidis, a psychologist with Doctors Without Borders who has been working in Lesbos since August.

    Children perceive parents who experience psychological collapse as being unable to protect them, said Chirvatidis. The result is an increasing number of children are developing symptoms such as hopeless, insomnia, night terrors and regression symptoms as they go backwards at an earlier mental state where they had better memories and felt safer.

    All of the people in the hotspot centres – adult and children alike – “even those who had a sense of normalcy in their life before, at this point will need support in the future for sorting what they are going through here, which has now become a trauma itself,” said Chirvatidis.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/17/eus-refugee-policy-on-greek-islands-worsening-mental-health

    #Moria #santé_mentale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #îles #Lesbos #Mer_Egée #Grèce #traumatisme #trauma #hotspots #rapport

    ping @_kg_

    • Thousands of refugees in mental health crisis after years on Greek islands

      One in three on Aegean isles have contemplated suicide amid EU containment policies, report reveals
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/b1b9c9d90a1caa8f531cc8964d98aa5f334fc711/0_212_3500_2100/master/3500.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=cdabee9ba1451c3fdb469b

      Years of entrapment on Aegean islands has resulted in a mental health crisis for thousands of refugees, with one in three contemplating suicide, a report compiled by psychosocial support experts has revealed.

      Containment policies pursued by the EU have also spurred ever more people to attempt to end their lives, according to the report released by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on Thursday.

      “Research reveals consistent accounts of severe mental health conditions,” says the report, citing data collated over the past two and a half years on Lesbos, Samos and Chios.

      Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-harm “among people of all ages and backgrounds” have emerged as byproducts of the hopelessness and despair on Europe’s eastern borderlands, it says.

      “As many as three out of four of the people the IRC has assisted through its mental health programme on the three islands reported experiencing symptoms such as sleeping problems, depression and anxiety,” its authors wrote.

      “One in three reported suicidal thoughts, while one in five reported having made attempts to take their lives.”

      In a year upended by coronavirus and disastrous fires on Lesbos – about 13,000 asylum seekers were temporarily displaced after the destruction of Moria, the island’s infamous holding centre – psychologists concluded that the humanitarian situation on the outposts had worsened considerably.

      The mental health toll had been aggravated by lockdown measures that had kept men, women and children confined to facilities for much of 2020, they said.

      Previously, residents in Moria, Europe’s biggest refugee camp before its destruction, had participated in football games outside the facility and other group activities.

      Noting that the restrictions were stricter for refugees and migrants than those applied elsewhere in Greece, IRC support teams found a marked deterioration in the mental wellbeing of people in the camps since rolling lockdowns were enforced in March.

      “Research demonstrates how the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the suffering of already vulnerable asylum seekers and exposed the many flaws in Europe’s asylum and reception system,” the report says.

      Over the year there has been a rise in the proportion of people disclosing psychotic symptoms, from one in seven to one in four. Disclosures of self-harm have increased by 66%.

      The IRC, founded by Albert Einstein in 1933 and now led by the former British foreign secretary David Miliband, said the findings offered more evidence of the persistent political and policy failures at Greek and EU level.

      Five years after authorities scrambled to establish reception and identification centres, or hotspots, on the frontline isles at the start of the refugee crisis, about 15,000 men, women and children remain stranded in the installations.

      Describing conditions in the camps as dangerous and inhumane, the IRC said residents were still denied access to sufficient water, sanitation, shelter and vital services such as healthcare, education and legal assistance to process asylum claims.

      On Lesbos, the island most often targeted by traffickers working along the Turkish coast, government figures this week showed an estimated 7,319 men, women and children registered in a temporary camp erected in response to an emergency that has been blamed on arsonists.

      Three months after the fires, more than 5,000 people have been transferred to the mainland, according to Greek authorities.

      Of that number, more than 800 were relocated to the EU, including 523 children who had made the journey to Europe alone and were also held in Moria.

      Many had hoped the new camp would be a vast improvement on Moria, whose appalling conditions and severe overcrowding earned it global notoriety as a humanitarian disaster.

      But the new facility, located on a former firing range within metres of the sea, has drawn condemnation from locals and NGOs.

      “The winds hit it, the rains hit it and there’s no shade, which is why this place is unsuitable for any camp to be,” the island’s mayor, Stratis Kitilis, said.

      “It’s right next door to all the warehouses, transport companies and supermarkets that keep Lesbos going. No one wants it there.”

      This month the EU announced it was working with Athens’ centre-right administration to replace the installation with a modern structure that will open next September. New reception and identification centres will also be built on Samos, Kos and Lesbos. “They say it’ll be nothing like Moria and will be more of a transfer stop, but late next year is a very long time,” said Kitilis.

      Kiki Michailidou, the psychologist in charge of the IRC’s psychosocial support programmes on Lesbos, agreed that the conditions were far from dignified.

      As winter approached, camp residents were resorting to ever more desperate measures to keep warm, she said, while also being forced to stand in long queues for food and communal toilets.

      With camp managers moving families into giant tents, social distancing remains elusive. “A lot of people fear the unknown again,” Michailidou said.

      “Moria was terrible but it was also a familiar place, somewhere they called their home. After the fires they lost their point of reference and that has had a significant impact on their mental health too.”

      The IRC report calls for European policymakers to learn from past failings. While the EU’s new pact on asylum and migration is a step in the right direction, it says, it still falls short of the bloc managing migration in a humane and effective way.

      Echoing that sentiment, Michailidou said: “After the fires we saw what could happen. There were transfers to the mainland and children were relocated to other parts of Europe. That’s proof that where there’s political will and coordinated action, the lives of people in these camps can be transformed.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/17/thousands-refugees-mental-crisis-years-greek-islands

  • Aftermath of Moria refugee camp fire – photo essay

    The September blaze that ravaged the Moria refugee camp in Greece left thousands of people homeless overnight. Photographers #Vincent_Haiges and #Julian_Busch picked through the wreckage.
    During the night of 8 September, the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos burst into flames. According to a Red Cross report the camp, the biggest of its kind in Europe, was at more than four times capacity. Nearly 11,000 people had to flee. Many left in panic, grabbing their children and leaving behind their few possessions. The Greek prime minister announced a four-month state of emergency on the island.


    Many settled on a one-and-a-half kilometre stretch of coastal road, close to Mytilene, the small capital of Lesbos. People slept on the pavement and used trees and foliage to erect makeshift shelters to protect themselves from the sun. It seemed unthinkable, but life had just become even worse than in Moria.

    Photographer Vincent Haiges recalls the scene: “Walking through the remains of Europe’s biggest refugee camp, home for around 13.000 people in its last days, felt unreal. Though this feeling of estrangement was not caused by the overwhelming presence of destruction but rather the absence of sound. The chattering of voices, the clattering of dishes. All gone. Now you could only hear the birds and the rustling of cats strolling through the remains of the camp.”

    “Between the rubbles we found different objects, still witnesses of a former life. Toys, clothes or dishes. It felt as if those objects wanted to say: yes once there were people living here too. Some objects are witnesses of violence. Diazepam and Ibuprofen, means to bear what is unbearable. A lock used to protect someone’s home and family from mugging. Others are witnesses of resilience. A French copy of the New Testament. Maybe belonging to the Congolese community, who so vividly hold their services between the olive trees? The charred kitchen grater used for cooking. For many cooking was a way of keeping the memories of the place they left behind alive.”

    “The owners of those objects are now inside the new camp. Not much is coming out of there, since access for press is prohibited. It is yet another attempt of the European Union to render the situation on the Aegean islands invisible.”

    “This is why it is so important to keep the situation of the people seeking asylum alive, even though we only see the object they left behind.”

    According to the UNHCR UN high commissioner for refugees, there are approximately 121,100 asylum seekers and migrants in Greece, including 4,200 children who arrived unaccompanied, or were separated from their families on the way.

    Overcrowding is widespread on the Aegean islands and by the end of September about 21,400 people were crammed into spaces with an estimated combined capacity of 6,200.

    The UNHCR has warned for some time of the urgent need to address the situation and conditions for asylum seekers on the Aegean islands, where many must cope with dire living conditions and are exposed to security risks including sexual and gender-based violence.

    Since the fire, large-scale transfers out of Lesbos to the mainland have helped reduce the number of people whose lives have been blighted. By the beginning of November, about 2,800 people had left the island.

    More than 7,000 people remain in the emergency site at Mavrovouni, established to accommodate those rendered homeless by the fire.

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/dec/02/aftermath-moria-refugee-camp-fire-photo-essay

    #objets #migrations #réfugiés #Moria #ce_qui_reste #feu #incendie #Grèce #camps_de_réfugiés #photographie

  • #Mortaza_Behboudi : confiné à #Moria pour faire entendre la voix des migrants

    Suite à l’évacuation lundi du camp de migrants installé place de la République, regard du journaliste afghan Mortaza Behboudi dont les derniers reportages au camp de Moria, sur l’Ile de Lesbos, sont à voir sur Arte.fr.

    https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/la-fabrique-mediatique/la-fabrique-mediatique-du-samedi-28-novembre-2020

    #journalisme #médias #presse #témoignage

  • Enfants et réfugiés : l’horreur de Moria chroniquée par les éducateurs de l’ONU

    En Grèce, dans les cendres du camp de réfugiés rasé par les flammes en septembre, nous avons retrouvé le journal de bord tenu, depuis l’intérieur de la « #zone_mineurs », par les éducateurs de l’OIM, organisation affiliée à l’ONU. Toute la violence dans laquelle ces enfants étaient plongés s’y retrouve consignée. Un document exclusif.

    Il fait froid, ce matin du 18 novembre 2018, sur l’île de Lesbos, en Grèce. Moria, l’immense camp de réfugiés et ses presque 5 000 nouveaux arrivants, se réveille les pieds dans la boue, sous les tentes dégoulinantes de pluie. Fanis*, éducateur de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), une agence affiliée à l’ONU, pénètre dans la « zone sécurisée », l’espace barbelé réservé aux mineurs isolés. Le travailleur social pousse la porte de la réserve et découvre un rat mort dans une caisse à mandarines. Ce n’est pas la première fois que la vermine s’introduit dans les grands conteneurs qui servent de lieux de vie, mais le professionnel persiste à noter la même phrase sur le journal de bord : « Grave problème avec les rats et danger de transmission de maladies aux bénéficiaires ainsi qu’au personnel. »

    Fanis n’est pas au bout de ses peines. Pendant la nuit, les pluies diluviennes ont inondé la salle où se trouvent le frigidaire et le chauffage. L’éducateur reprend donc sa plume pour conseiller à ses collègues de porter de « hautes bottes en plastique » afin d’éviter l’électrocution. Pire : le conteneur numéro 5, où dort une partie des enfants, est aussi détrempé. Les petits courent un danger mortel : « Risque d’électrocution », note encore le travailleur social, avant de refermer l’épais journal cartonné.

    Avant les incendies du 8 septembre 2020 qui l’ont rasé, Moria était considéré par les ONG comme le « pire » camp de réfugiés d’Europe. Au moment des feux, 12 500 personnes s’entassaient dans la crasse et la misère d’un camp bâti pour 3 100. Parmi eux, entre 300 et 600 mineurs isolés, qui vivaient dans la « zone sécurisée », un espace où ils étaient enfermés pendant la nuit pour leur protection.

    C’est l’OIM, organisation affiliée à l’ONU chargée de promouvoir des migrations « ordonnées » mais surtout connue pour organiser des retours vers les pays d’origine, qui avait été choisie pour la coordination de cet endroit sensible. Avec pour mission d’accompagner les jeunes, qui patientaient des mois avant d’être transférés vers la Grèce continentale ou les pays de l’UE.

    L’OIM avait donc embauché éducateurs, psychologues, avocats, infirmières et interprètes, nous écrit-elle, afin de « couvrir tous les besoins des enfants ». À savoir : Fanis et ses collègues, les contributeurs du document que nous avons retrouvé dans les cendres de Moria.

    Nous sommes une semaine après les incendies, le 16 septembre 2020. La mer de tentes multicolores s’est muée en un paysage de suie à perte de vue. Structures de tentes calcinées, jouets cassés, ustensiles de cuisines éparpillés sur une terre devenue pelée et déserte. C’est là, dans un coin appelé « la jungle », à même le sol, entre deux barquettes de riz avec le logo de l’UE, que nous l’avons trouvé. Le manuscrit avait survécu aux flammes et aux pilleurs, qui ne l’avaient pas jugé digne d’intérêt.

    « Zone sécurisée », annonce d’emblée sa couverture. Sur la page de garde, le code wi-fi réservé aux employés de l’OIM. Puis, page après page, dans un grec discipliné, les travailleurs de l’agence ont scrupuleusement noté tous les événements qui ont eu lieu pendant leur tour de garde. Du nombre de croissants aux litres de jus consommés par les « bénéficiaires » en passant par les traitements médicaux avalés. Aussi : les bagarres, les fugues, les dangers courus et les violences subies par les plus vulnérables des résidents de Moria.

    Le document manuscrit de 190 pages couvre une période d’environ six mois, de novembre 2018 à mai 2019. Le jour de la dernière note, le 8 mai, Moria compte déjà 2 000 habitants au-dessus de ses capacités. Mais ce n’est que le début de l’escalade. À la fin de l’année, ce sera l’explosion : le nombre des personnes aura quasiment quadruplé (19 256 en janvier 2020). À la lecture du calepin, on se demande pourtant comment la situation a pu encore empirer.

    Nuit noire

    Page après page, on s’aperçoit que les coupures d’électricité – causées notamment par les pluies – représentent un problème majeur pour la petite communauté. Ces interruptions, qui peuvent durer plusieurs jours, empêchent le personnel de surveiller les entrées et sorties. Une catastrophe pour la sécurité des enfants censés être à l’abri des agressions. Le 24 novembre 2018, après plusieurs jours sans courant, au désespoir, Fanis et ses collègues Giannis* et Maria* rouvrent le carnet de bord :

    « L’inertie des personnes chargées de l’entretien fait qu’une fois encore nous sommes privés d’électricité, au point de n’avoir pas une seule lumière à l’intérieur et l’extérieur de la zone sécurisée. Tous les jours ou presque nous sommes contraints d’apporter des lampes-torches de chez nous pour essayer de voir, dans le noir complet, qui saute par-dessus les barbelés. Pour pénétrer à l’intérieur ou pour en sortir. Ces conditions de vie sont inacceptables ! En dépit des plaintes répétées des travailleurs sociaux, la situation ne semble pas s’améliorer. »

    Une triste note de Noël

    « JOYEUX NOËL !!! » Pour marquer l’événement, l’éducateur de garde a dessiné de jolies lettres au sommet de la page du 25 décembre 2018. Mais rien n’est jamais joyeux à Moria. S., une adolescente, vient de faire passer un morceau de papier à l’assistante sociale : le nom de son agresseur. Les éducateurs copient l’information avec un crayon de bois, entre autres notes au stylo bleu : « Il l’a battue en dehors de la zone sécurisée alors qu’il était ivre », lit-on. « Nous avons appelé la police, l’officier a envoyé une patrouille à pied. Voyons ce qui va se passer. » Le ton résigné employé par Fannis et son collègue semble indiquer qu’ils ne se font pas d’illusions.

    Les travailleurs sociaux reportent qu’un homme est déjà venu se plaindre de S. auparavant. Un peu plus tôt dans la journée, ce dernier s’est présenté à l’entrée. Tonitruant, il avait accusé S. de lui avoir volé de l’argent. Il prétendait lui en avoir déjà donné à plusieurs reprises « en échange de choses qui ne peuvent être décrites ». Les employés de l’OIM lui avaient demandé de partir en lui indiquant que, si quelqu’un lui avait volé de l’argent, il devait s’en plaindre à la police et que la violence n’avait pas sa place ici. « L’homme est parti satisfait… », avait noté le personnel en service.

    Interrogé sur les suites données à cette affaire, l’OIM nous fait cette réponse générale : « Un soutien psychologique était proposé aux enfants, afin de prévenir ou résoudre tous les conflits naissants. » L’exploitation sexuelle n’est que l’un des nombreux dangers auxquels les mineurs sont confrontés de l’autre côté des barbelés. L’abus d’alcool, de drogue et les bagarres sont également le lot des ados de Moria.

    Drogues, alcool, bagarres

    Dans la soirée du 4 avril 2019, N., un mineur de sexe masculin, a « de nouveau inhalé du liquide utilisé pour recharger les briquets ». L’adolescent a brutalement commencé à jeter des pierres, brisant plusieurs fenêtres. « Les policiers sont arrivés rapidement, mais N. a sauté par-dessus les barbelés et s’est enfui. »

    À l’image de N., on peut lire que de nombreux jeunes entrent dans la zone de sécurité ivres ou défoncés, parfois plusieurs jours de suite. Dans certains cas, ils sont à l’origine d’altercations avec les autres « bénéficiaires » ou les travailleurs sociaux. Parfois, les éducateurs de l’OIM semblent dépasser par la situation et demandent l’intervention de la police du camp.

    « Fuck Moria ! »

    «  Nous sommes toujours en vie !!!  », conclut une note rédigée dans la nuit du 6 décembre 2018. « Q., H. et A. sont rentrés probablement ivres (peut-être même défoncés). Ils nous ont insultés en nous disant : “Va te faire foutre ! Fuck la police ! Fuck Moria, etc.” »

    Q., un des ados, a explosé en vol. Tout en clamant : « Comme c’est agréable d’être fou ! », il a brisé treize fenêtres et « certainement 3 ou 4 placards et les poubelles ». La police a fini par arriver mais après avoir tenté de calmer les jeunes pendant quarante minutes, elle embarque les jeunes migrants au poste de police.

    Quand les mineurs ne s’en prennent pas aux travailleurs sociaux, ils se battent entre eux. Des bagarres récurrentes qui apparaissent chaque jour ou presque dans les pages du carnet de bord. Ici, un combat entre trois adolescents qui termine chez le médecin (le 26 novembre 2018), là, deux frères qui s’en prennent à un jeune à coup de bâtons (le 2 décembre 2018).

    Et quand ils ne parviennent plus à l’extérioriser, les enfants dirigent la violence contre eux-mêmes. Un mois et demi avant de glisser le nom de son agresseur sur un morceau de papier, S. s’était tailladé les veines avec un rasoir dans les douches des filles (le 6 novembre 2018). Par son geste, la jeune fille avait-elle voulu alerter ses éducateurs ? Punir ce corps qu’elle prostituait ? « La blessure est profonde, précise la note. Elle a été emmenée chez le médecin. » Les pages tournent et charrient toujours plus de malheurs : le 8 mars 2019, une autre mineure, A., « se tranche aussi les veines avec un rasoir, elle est amenée à l’hôpital local pour être vue par un psychiatre ». A. est conduite à l’hôpital, mais, la plupart du temps, c’est le médecin militaire du camp qui est appelé à la rescousse pour soigner les enfants de Moria.

    Ainsi, dans la nuit du 1er décembre 2018, un bébé qui vivait avec sa mère adolescente dans la section des filles est emmené chez le médecin militaire. « Il nous a dit qu’il n’était pas spécialiste des bébés et que quelqu’un devrait l’ausculter demain », écrit le travailleur de garde, ajoutant que le bébé pourrait possiblement avoir la varicelle. Cette nuit-là, il n’y a pas d’électricité dans les conteneurs, le nourrisson malade doit affronter la nuit glaciale sans traitement ni chaleur.

    « Nous continuerons à travailler dans des conditions inédites et inacceptables »

    Ce mois de décembre semble particulièrement éprouvant pour Fannis et ses collègues. Une semaine après l’épisode du bébé, le 7, l’éducateur prend le temps de rédiger deux longues notes qui sonnent comme des avertissements à l’adresse de sa hiérarchie.

    Il fait référence à de nouvelles altercation entre jeunes qui ont abouti à l’intervention de la police, la veille au soir : « L’inaction dans la gestion et la supervision de la section apparaît désormais évidente et ce en dépit de nos plaintes et signalements constants. Nous continuerons toutefois à informer et à travailler dans ces conditions inédites et inacceptables, mais nous espérons tous qu’il n’y aura pas d’incidents plus graves pour les bénéficiaires et les collègues. »

    Fannis craint de nouvelles bagarres avec l’arrivée de dix mineurs afghans dans la zone sécurisée : « Les “anciens” sentent qu’ils ont besoin de prouver quelque chose et les nouveaux arrivants pensent qu’ils doivent faire leur place dans cette nouvelle société. Les transferts de bénéficiaires doivent se faire progressivement. »

    La direction de l’OIM lit-elle seulement les notes de ses employés ? Peu importe, l’éducateur égrène inlassablement les mêmes avertissements : « Il est pour le moins problématique de voir dans la zone de sécurité des jeunes mamans avec des bébés, des jeunes garçons isolés, côtoyer et vivre au même endroit pendant des mois que des criminels aguerris, des personnes détenant des couteaux ou des armes de fortune. La raison d’être et le rôle de la zone de sécurité doivent être redéfinis et cette discussion doit avoir lieu sans plus attendre. »

    Le carnet de bord ne fait état d’aucune réponse de la hiérarchie. Dans sa réponse écrite, l’OIM assure avoir travaillé en « coordination rapprochée et sous les conseils du Reception and Identification Center », qui dépend des autorités grecques (lesquelles n’ont pas répondu à nos questions).

    Trois mois après la dernière note du carnet, le drame que Fannis redoutait tant finit par se produire : un garçon afghan de 15 ans est poignardé à mort dans la zone de sécurité. Il aura fallu attendre un an et demi pour que la zone sécurisée soit définitivement fermée, rasée par les flammes avec le reste du camp. Les 400 mineurs qui y vivaient ont été répartis dans les dix pays européens qui avaient fini par les accepter. Fin octobre 2020, d’après l’UNHCR, la France avait accueilli 49 mineurs non accompagnés en provenance de Grèce. Seulement deux d’entre eux ne sont pas montés dans l’avion, il s’agit des deux mineurs suspectés d’avoir mis le feu au camp.

    Épilogue

    À l’heure où nous bouclons cet article, l’histoire des enfants de Moria n’a pas fini de s’écrire. Depuis l’incendie, de nouveaux adolescents sont arrivés à Lesbos. Un nouveau camp, Moria 2.0, a été monté dans l’urgence. Les nouveaux « bénéficiaires » ne reçoivent de la nourriture qu’une fois par jour et il n’y a pas de douches. D’après nos informations, les enfants se lavent désormais dans les vagues de la mer Méditerranée. Aujourd’hui, à Lesbos, il n’y a même plus de zone sécurisée.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/301120/enfants-et-refugies-l-horreur-de-moria-chroniquee-par-les-educateurs-de-l-

    #Moria #Lesbos #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #enfants #enfance

  • Deal signed for construction of new migrant centers

    Migration Minister #Notis_Mitarakis and the director of the European Commission, #Beate_Gminder, have signed a financing agreement for the construction of new closed structures on the eastern Aegean islands of #Samos, #Kos and #Leros.

    The funding for these projects will be fully covered by the European Commission.

    Also on Friday, the working group for the coordination of the procedures for the final termination of the operations of the reception and identification centers in #Vathi on Samos and on Leros met for the first time.

    The group’s main objective is the coordination of all involved bodies (Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Organization, local authorities, the Hellenic Police, the armed forces, the fire brigade and international bodies) to ensure the smooth shutdown of the existing structures and the operation of the new closed facilities of Samos and Leros.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/259140/article/ekathimerini/news/deal-signed-for-construction-of-new-migrant-centers

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #centres #camps_de_réfugiés #financement #Mer_Egée #îles #centres_fermés #financement #EU #internal_externalization #externalisation_intérieure #Union_européenne #UE

    –—

    Et voilà que #Moria_2.0 se généralise à toutes les îles grecques...
    Merci le #nouveau_pacte:


    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876752
    #pacte_européen

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Accord entre l’#Union_européenne et la Grèce pour un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants à Lesbos en 2021

      Le camp de Moria avait été ravagé par un incendie au mois de septembre 2020. Un campement provisoire, où se trouve 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, a depuis été établi sur l’île.

      Presque trois mois après un incendie ravageur, l’Union européenne (UE) et la Grèce ont signé un accord, jeudi 3 décembre, pour la mise en place d’ici septembre 2021 d’un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants sur l’île de Lesbos. Ce nouveau camp doit remplacer celui de Moria détruit en septembre.

      Le soutien de l’Union européenne dans la gestion de ce nouveau « centre d’accueil » sera inédit, et l’accord prévoit une répartition des responsabilités entre la Commission, les autorités grecques et les agences de l’UE.

      Après la destruction du camp insalubre de Moria, le plus grand d’Europe, un campement provisoire a été établi sur l’île. Plus de 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, parmi lesquels des enfants, des personnes handicapées ou malades, s’entassent sous des tentes, sans chauffage ni eau chaude à l’approche de l’hiver.

      Dans le nouveau camp, « nous allons fournir des conditions décentes aux migrants et réfugiés qui arrivent, et aussi soutenir les habitants sur les îles grecques », a déclaré la présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, dans un communiqué, où elle souligne également la nécessité de « procédures rapides et équitables » pour l’examen des demandes d’asile. Pour les migrants, « les centres doivent n’être qu’un arrêt temporaire avant leur retour (vers leur pays d’origine ou de transit) ou leur intégration », précise Mme von der Leyen.

      « Une étape importante »

      La Commission prévoit de consacrer environ 130 millions d’euros pour les sites de Lesbos et de Chios, dont la très grosse majorité pour Lesbos. En outre, 121 millions d’euros ont été alloués le mois dernier à la construction de trois camps moins importants sur les îles de Samos, Kos et Leros.

      « Cet accord est une étape importante (…) pour s’assurer qu’une situation comme celle de Moria ne puisse plus se reproduire », a ajouté la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson. Elle a estimé que ce nouveau camp « marquait un changement dans la façon d’appréhender la gestion des migrations, et ouvre la voie à une mise en pratique des principes directeurs du nouveau pacte sur la migration et l’asile ».

      La Commission européenne a présenté fin septembre un projet de réforme de la politique commune de l’asile, un dossier ultrasensible sur lequel la recherche d’un compromis est extrêmement difficile, cinq ans après la crise migratoire de 2015.

      Lesbos, en mer Egée ainsi que d’autres îles grecques proches des côtes occidentales de la Turquie voisine, est l’une des principales portes d’entrée des migrants en Europe. La Grèce a considérablement réduit le nombre d’arrivées en 2020 mais les conditions de vie dans les camps d’accueil restent particulièrement éprouvantes.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/12/03/accord-entre-l-union-europeenne-et-la-grece-pour-un-nouveau-camp-a-lesbos-en

  • #Lesbos : A #mental_health #crisis beneath the surface

    A mental health crisis among asylum seekers from the former #Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos is worsening. InfoMigrants has learned that in the new tent facility, even young #children are receiving psychiatric treatment and medication to deal with ongoing #trauma.

    In the new Lesbos tent camp, 17-year-old Nour from Syria says that when Moria went up in flames in September, she asked her mother to leave her there to die.

    Like a growing number of children and young people in the migrant camps, Nour is taking antidepressants.

    Long-term effects on children

    In the weeks following the destruction of the Moria camp, almost all of the unaccompanied minors – children traveling without a parent or guardian – were transferred off the island. But many children were also left on Lesbos, as well as the other hotspot islands.

    And according to Greg Kavarnos, a psychologist with the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) working with asylum seekers on Lesbos, children are among those most at risk of suffering long-term mental health effects.

    “Children are resilient and can bounce back, but they are also at a stage when they’re developing their character and their personality,” Kavarnos told InfoMigrants.

    “If they have to go through traumatic experiences at this age, these will then shape their personality or their character in the future, leading to long-term problems.”

    “We’re creating a generation of children that are going to be reliant on psychiatric medication for the rest of their lives.”

    Children in the camp are increasingly feeling a sense of resignation. Seeing their parents trapped and unable to make decisions or take action, they become hopeless, Kavarnos said.

    “If at eight years old a child has already resigned itself, what does that mean when this child becomes 12 or 16 years old? If at eight years old or 10 years old a child has to take psychiatric medication in order for the symptoms to be held at bay, what’s this going to mean later?”

    When a psychiatric problem arises as a result of trauma, if the trauma is not successfully dealt with, the psychiatric problem then becomes chronic, according to Kavarnos.

    “So, what are we doing? We’re creating a generation of children that are going to be reliant on psychiatric medication for the rest of their lives.”

    Karima, from Afghanistan, is also on antidepressants and has trouble sleeping. Most of her family, including her granddaughters, aged two and three, were in a boat from Turkey that sank in the Aegean. They were rescued and brought to Lesbos. For about two years, they lived in the Moria camp.

    Karima’s son; Rahullah tells us: “It was a very bad situation. ... People died, they drank, they killed each other. We didn’t sleep. So now we have mental problems, all of us, just because of Lesbos.”

    Rahullah’s sister F., the mother of the two little girls, became so unwell that she cut herself, says another of her brothers, a softly-spoken law graduate. F.’s husband was murdered in Afghanistan.

    Another young asylum seeker in the camp, Ahmad*, is 25. He travelled alone from Afghanistan to Greece. He says that he has twice attempted suicide, and if it hadn’t been for his friends, he would have gone through with it and succeeded in killing himself.

    Removal the only solution

    The International Rescue Committee, which provides mental health support to asylum seekers on Lesbos, tries to help migrants with counseling and medication. But according to IRC senior advocacy officer Martha Roussou, while some people do improve, “the only durable solution is to remove them from the traumatic space they are living in.”

    No matter how much medication or psychotherapy you give a person, “if they’re constantly being traumatized by their experiences, you’re always one step behind," said Greg Kavarnos.

    “I can’t do anything for the ongoing trauma, the threats of violence, the inability to access simple facilities. I can’t say to the person, ‘it’s okay, things will get better,’ because I don’t know if things will get better for them.”

    *Ahmad is an assumed name

    If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website: https://www.befrienders.org

    In Greece, a suicide-help line can be reached by telephone at this number: 1018. You can also find more information here: http://suicide-help.gr

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/28086/lesbos-a-mental-health-crisis-beneath-the-surface

  • #Pikpa... la mort annoncée d’une #utopie

    Ce n’est pas un lundi ordinaire en Grèce. Alors que tous les médias sont braqués sur l’annonce des peines encourues par les membres de l’Aube Dorée, PIKPA, le dernier #camp_ouvert pour l’accueil des migrants ferme ses portes, forcé par le gouvernement. Et ses quelques cent résidents du moment seront envoyés à Moria, ou à ce qu’il en reste. Pourquoi Pikpa dérange tant ?

    Le taxi me dépose sur la route côtière à mi-chemin entre Mytilène et l’aéroport, en face d’un hôtel désaffecté. J’avance sur un petit chemin qui s’enfonce dans la forêt de pin et suis rapidement devant le portail de Pikpa. Nous sommes fin juin 2014 et il fait déjà bien chaud à Lesvos. Je cherche #Efi_Latsoudi, l’une des responsables de Pikpa qu’on m’a recommandé de voir à Athènes. Quelqu’un me montre une femme d’une quarantaine d’années du doigt, mais il me faudra presque une heure avant de pouvoir lui parler, tellement elle est sollicitée. Adultes, enfants, volontaires, migrants, tout le monde à quelque chose à lui demander et Efi réponde patiemment à toutes les questions. Je lui explique mon projet de film pour lequel je fais des repérages et elle me pose des questions. A peine a-t-elle appris que je suis iranienne qu’elle me demande si je veux bien aller parler à O. un jeune iranien, qu’elle a réussi à sauver de l’enfer de #Moria. Parce qu’il s’agit de ça. Chaque migrant accueilli à Pikpa est un de moins dans l’enfer de Moria. O. est tellement traumatisé qu’il se méfie de tout, au point même de refuser de parler le persan. C’est un jeune homme grand et fin, avec une étrange allure : mi barbu, mi rasé, mi brun, mi blond, au regard vif et fuyant. Tout en lui est un cri pour affirmer sa différence. Il m’a fallu du temps avant de gagner sa confiance et basculer peu à peu de l’anglais vers le persan. A Pikpa, on avait réussi à lui offrir des cours d’Anglais, de dessin et un suivi psychologique. C’était le premier d’une longue liste de migrants, fragiles et remarquables, que j’ai rencontré à Pikpa à mesure de mes visites.

    La fois d’après, quelques mois plus tard, lorsque je franchis le portail, je trouve tout le monde en larmes. La raison : l’émoi d’une femme syrienne dont le fils de vingt ans alors à Damas, devait être opéré d’urgence, mais bloquée par manque de fonds. Pendant quelques heures, on a remué ciel et terre pour trouver les quelques centaines d’euros manquant et les envoyer par Western Union. Je me souviendrai toujours du visage d’Efi, du traducteur palestinien et des autres membres du bureau de Pikpa qui ayant reçu la nouvelle de la réussite de l’opération, éclatent de nouveau en larmes. Ça n’est jamais fini, disent-ils, jamais... Et c’est vrai. Les malheurs des migrants qui arrivent chaque jour semble ne jamais tarir.

    Une autre fois, ce sera un jeune afghan mutique qui retient mon attention. Il a l’air différent des autres résidents de Pikpa, semble appartenir à un autre espace-temps. J’engage la conversation et j’apprends qu’il vit à Paris depuis dix ans a déjà obtenu l’asile politique en France, mais qu’il reste à Pikpa le temps que le résultat de son test ADN arrive. Lequel prouverait son lien de parenté avec son jeune frère, noyé pendant la traversée. Je dois ramener son corps en Afghanistan, pour que ma mère puisse accepter sa mort.

    L’un des derniers miraculés de Pikpa : A. un petit afghan de cinq ans, ayant arrêté de parler après les traumatismes subis pendant la traversée, puis à Moria. Lorsque je rencontre sa mère en août 2020, ils sont à Moria depuis un mois et le petit ne communique qu’en produisant des sons inintelligibles. Je les revois mi-septembre, quand je retourne à Mytilène après l’incendie de Moria. Le petit a commencé une thérapie depuis peu et prononce déjà quelques mots en me montrant fièrement le sac à dos que tous les enfants de Pikpa ont reçu pour la rentrée des classes.

    Les petites cabanes en bois, les murs des bâtiments communs couverts de peinture d’enfant et les petits maraîchers cultivés par les réfugiés, le terrain de jeu des enfants entouré de pins, le lieu aspire un tel calme qu’on a juste envie d’y rester.

    Combien de personnes y ont retrouvé le sommeil et le calme perdus à Moria ou sur les routes sinueuses d’une migration hasardeuse vers l’Europe ?

    Ancienne #colonie_de_vacances pour enfants handicapés transformée en lieu d’accueil destinés aux migrants fragiles, Pikpa fonctionne avec des dons privés et l’aide des volontaires. Pikpa a accueilli, malgré sa petite taille, plus de 30000 personnes depuis sa création.

    La date de fermeture annoncée par le ministre grec de l’asile et de l’immigration, M. Mitarakis : fixée au 30 octobre initialement, a été avancée au 15, puis au 12 octobre. C’est donc aujourd’hui que Pikpa fermera ses portes et ses habitants seront renvoyés à Moria.

    Étrangement, c’est aussi le jour tant attendu de l’annonce des verdicts du procès de l’Aube Dorée sur laquelle tous les médias grecs sont braqués pour des raisons évidentes.

    Les résidents de Pikpa ont déjà ramassé le peu de bien qu’ils possèdent depuis vendredi. Les adultes tentent de garder leur calme mais les enfants ne peuvent pas cacher leur désespoir. K. une femme afghane, mère de deux enfants, me dit que son fils de neuf ans Omid (prénom qui signifie espoir en persan) lui a dit hier, plutôt mourir que de retourner à Moria.

    Au-delà du sort des résidents de Pikpa, pour qui le retour potentiel à Moria représente le cauchemar absolu, reste à savoir si c’est l’existence même d’un lieu d’accueil utopique des migrants, alors qu’on en manque si cruellement, n’est pas ce qui dérange le plus le gouvernement grec.

    Sauvons la dignité des migrants, sauvons Pikpa !

    #SAVEDIGNITY #SAVEPIKPA

    PS. Deux jours de sursis ont été accordés à Pikpa qui prend fin demain. L’équipe se bat comme elle peut. A suivre...

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/moineau-persan/blog/121020/pikpa-la-mort-annoncee-dune-utopie
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #camps #Grèce #accueil #Lesbos

    • Grèce : les autorités évacuent le PIKPA, centre pour réfugiés vulnérables à Lesbos

      Les autorités grecques ont commencé jeudi 29 octobre à évacuer le PIKPA, qui a accueilli plus de 30 000 réfugiés vulnérables depuis 2012. Les ONG s’inquiètent de la décision du gouvernement conservateur de regrouper tous les migrants dans une même structure semi-fermée aux conditions de vie difficiles.

      Le PIKPA était un « havre de paix » à Lesbos, dans un environnement de plus en plus hostile aux demandeurs d’asile. Située à 7 km de la capitale de l’île, cette ancienne colonie de vacances transformée en centre d’accueil pour les réfugiés les plus vulnérables en 2012 avait depuis reçu plus de 30 000 réfugiés, des femmes seules, des enfants, des personnes à mobilité réduite, des personnes LGBT et des mineurs non-accompagnés.

      Début octobre, les autorités grecques ont déclaré vouloir fermer ce centre pour satisfaire la municipalité de Mytilène et les associations d’hôteliers et de résidents en colère qui ne veulent plus accueillir de réfugiés sur l’île. Jeudi matin, l’opération d’évacuation a démarré de manière inattendue avec le déploiement de deux véhicules de police et d’un camion de l’armée pour transporter les plus de 70 demandeurs d’asile (dont 21 mineurs non-accompagnés) du PIKPA vers le camp municipal de Karatepe, à une dizaine de kilomètres, près du port de Mytilène.

      Dans une vidéo partagée sur les réseaux sociaux, la fondatrice du centre, Efi Latsoudi, s’est indignée de l’opération d’évacuation qui n’est « ni décente ni humaine » : « Nous avons demandé aux autorités un peu de temps pour informer les gens, dont de nombreux enfants, qui vivent ici depuis des mois ou des années. Mais ils ont débarqué avec la police et l’armée ». Stephan Oberreit, chef de mission de MSF en Grèce, a dénoncé aussi une « décision absurde » : « La priorité du gouvernement devrait être de mettre en sécurité les personnes les plus vulnérables. C’est tristement ironique que 74 personnes vulnérables reçoivent l’ordre de quitter PIKPA, lieu sûr et digne, alors que des enfants atteints de maladies chroniques restent dans l’horrible Moria 2.0 », le surnom donné au nouveau camp.
      Durcissement de la politique d’accueil des réfugiés

      « PIKPA est un domaine public qui depuis des années était squatté et qui fonctionnait sans aucun contrôle », a déclaré le ministère des Migrations pour justifier sa décision.

      Après les incendies, début septembre, qui ont détruit le camp surpeuplé et insalubre de Moria, les autorités grecques ne sont pas revenues sur leur projet de créer des centres fermés pour les réfugiés et d’accélérer les retours de personnes déboutées de l’asile. Le durcissement de la politique d’accueil des réfugiés s’est poursuivi avec l’annonce du recrutement de nouveaux gardes-frontières, la signature d’un accord de retours volontaires avec l’Afghanistan et le lancement d’une enquête contre des ONG dénonçant les refoulements de migrants vers la Turquie.

      Au mois de septembre, un nouveau camp a été construit en quelques jours pour remplacer le camp de Moria, mais déjà début octobre, les premières pluies ont inondé les tentes, tandis que les sanitaires et les douches restent insuffisants pour la population de près de 8000 personnes. Le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés de l’ONU (HCR) a averti dès le début du mois de la nécessité d’« améliorer les conditions de vie » dans le camp en vue de l’hiver et des pluies : des « travaux d’évacuation des eaux » sont nécessaires et de « meilleures solutions d’hébergement pour les familles et les personnes vulnérables » doivent être trouvées.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Grece-les-autorites-evacuent-le-PIKPA-centre-pour-refugies-vulner
      #évacuation

    • À Lesbos, le camp emblématique de Pikpa pour migrants vulnérables contraint de fermer ses portes

      Les autorités grecques ont commencé à évacuer vendredi le camp auto-géré par des bénévoles « Lesvos Solidarity-Pikpa » où vivaient des dizaines de personnes vulnérables, en majorité des femmes et des enfants. La gérante du camp dénonce une action « inhumaine ».
      C’était un havre de paix et de stabilité sur une île devenue célèbre pour les conditions de vie déplorables des demandeurs d’asile. Le camp auto-géré « Lesvos Solidarity-Pikpa » a commencé à être évacué tôt dans la matinée, vendredi 30 octobre. Pour justifier leur action, les autorités ont dénoncé l’occupation illégale des lieux.

      « Le terrain est public et a été occupé ces dernières années par l’ONG qui fonctionne sans aucun contrôle », selon un communiqué du ministère des Migrations publié jeudi. Ce dernier a demandé aux bénévoles de « coopérer ».
      https://twitter.com/teammareliberum/status/1322088994944000000
      Un cordon policier a été formé autour du camp alors que les 74 personnes qui y étaient hébergées doivent été transférées dans un camp municipal près du port de Mytilène, chef-lieu de Lesbos.

      Pour les bénévoles qui avaient créé en 2012 ce camp et pour Efi Latsoudi, la gérante du lieu, ce démantèlement est une « action inhumaine ».

      « Nous n’avons pas été informés (...) nous avons demandé aux autorités un peu de temps pour informer les gens dont de nombreux enfants qui vivent ici depuis des mois ou des années », a déploré cette figure emblématique de l’aide humanitaire à Lesbos dans une vidéo publiée sur la page facebook de l’ONG.

      Vendredi matin, l’évacuation des résidents du camp se déroulait sans que la presse, des interprètes ou l’équipe psycho-sociale du camp ne soient autorisés à entrer en contact avec les migrants, ont rapporté plusieurs associations et des journalistes sur les réseaux sociaux.

      https://twitter.com/CollavoAC/status/1322083055583068160

      Depuis 2012, le camp bénévole et auto-géré de « Lesvos Solidarity-Pikpa » héberge personnes et familles vulnérables, handicapés ou femmes enceintes. Il a joué un rôle important durant la crise migratoire de 2015, Lesbos étant alors devenue la principale porte d’entrée en Europe de centaines de milliers de demandeurs d’asile. Pour son action, Efi Latsoudi a reçu en 2016 le prix Hansen décerné par le Haut commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR).

      Le gouvernement de droite de Kyriákos Mitsotákis a décidé, contre l’avis des ONG et de la population de Lesbos, de créer un camp fermé « d’ici l’été 2021 » pour remplacer celui de Moria. Selon le milieu associatif, la fermeture du camp de Solidarity Lesbos-Pikpa était réclamée par certaines autorités ou habitants de l’île, une manière de tolérer le nouveau camp fermé.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/28224/a-lesbos-le-camp-emblematique-de-pikpa-pour-migrants-vulnerables-contr
      #auto-gestion

    • Commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 01.11.2020 :

      Le comble de l’affaire est que le journal pro-gouvernemental Kathimerini, censément sérieux, prétend que la décision du Ministre grec de la politique migratoire Mytarakis fut prise car il y a eu un cas de contamination parmi le personnel du camp de PIKPA. Or c’est exactement le contraire qui est vrai, non seulement il y a eu aucun cas testés positifs ni parmi les volontaires et les solidaires ni parmi les habitants de camp, mais par contre, il y a bien eu le 29 octobre un cas détecté parmi le personnel dans l’ancien camp de Kara Tepe -voir en grec https://www.stonisi.gr/post/12529/o-koronoios-mphke-ston-palio-kara-tepe- où les familles et les enfants isolés du PIKPA ont été transférés de force -voir le dernier paragraphe de l’article
      https://www.ekathimerini.com/258630/article/ekathimerini/news/ngo-condemns-evacuation-of-refugees-from-lesvos-pikpa-camp
      L’intox ne connaît plus de limites......

  • Lesbos: A mental health crisis beneath the surface

    A mental health crisis among asylum seekers from the former Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos is worsening. In the new ’Kara Tepe’ tent facility, even more young children are receiving psychiatric treatment, including medication, to deal with ongoing trauma.

    Before it burned to the ground, the #Moria camp on the Greek #hotspot island of Lesbos was described as “hell on earth”. The terrible conditions and overcrowding in the migrant camp had led to daily incidents of violence, abuse, and suicide attempts, even among children.

    According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which provides mental health support to refugees on Lesbos, between December 2019 and August 2020, more than 40% of migrants they counselled in Moria had suicidal thoughts and a quarter had actually tried to commit suicide.

    On the night of September 8, 2020, the camp was destroyed. For thousands of asylum seekers, the fire was a traumatic experience, yet it allowed them to hope that they would never again have to suffer in such conditions.

    However, worse was to come. In the days after the disaster, they would sleep in the streets and face violence and intimidation from anti-migrant groups as well as Greek police, before being moved to a new a tent camp with no showers, no areas insulated against cold and, it turned out, subject to major flooding.
    Mental health worsening

    According to Martha Roussou, senior advocacy officer with the IRC, almost all of the migrants attending counselling on Lesbos say their mental health problems are caused by poor living conditions and long waiting times for their asylum claims to be heard. For those at the new camp, these problems that had reached crisis proportions in Moria have not gone away, instead they have worsened with the loss of hope.

    Greg Kavarnos, a psychologist with the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) working with asylum seekers on Lesbos, says conditions in the Kara Tepe camp would cause any mentally healthy person to become anxious and depressed. The effect is catastrophic for those seeking his help, who are already deeply traumatized.

    “I have had patients who were incapable of talking when they were brought to me. Or they were so mentally unwell that they couldn’t even go to the toilet by themselves,” says Kavarnos.

    For those who have been incarcerated in the past, the experience of being in the camp, which is heavily policed and surrounded barbed wire, can also trigger memories of traumatic experiences, he adds.

    Some also experience disillusionment and a loss of hope because they have not reached a safe place, according to Kavarnos. “Imagine what it would be like if you’re in a region controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan, or you’re a political prisoner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or you’re a victim of the regime in Syria, and you escape this danger expecting to come somewhere where it’s safe and you’ll be treated as a human being. Imagine that instead of having this, you’re treated worse than an animal.”

    Long-term effects on children

    In the weeks following the Moria fire, almost all of the unaccompanied minors – children traveling without a parent or guardian – were transferred off the island. But many children were also left on Lesbos, as well as the other hotspot islands.

    And according to Kavarnos, these remaining children are among those most at risk of suffering long-term mental health effects.

    “Even though children are resilient and can bounce back from things, they’re at a stage when they’re developing their character and their personality,” he says. “If they have to go through traumatic experiences at this age, these will then shape their personality or their character in the future, leading to long-term problems.”

    Children in the camp are increasingly feeling a sense of resignation. Seeing their parents trapped and unable to make decisions or take action, they become hopeless, according to Kavarnos.

    “If at eight years old a child has already resigned itself, what does that mean when this child becomes 12 years old or 16 years old? If at 8 years old or 10 years old a child has to take psychiatric medication in order for the symptoms to be held at bay, what’s this going to mean later?”

    In the new Lesbos facility, 17-year-old Nour from Syria tells us that when the Moria camp went up in flames in September, she had asked her mother to leave her there to die.

    Like a growing number of children and young people in the migrant camps, Nour is taking antidepressants.

    “Generally, if a psychiatric problem arises as a result of trauma, if you don’t deal successfully with the trauma, the psychiatric problem then becomes chronic,” Kavarnos explains.

    “So, what are we doing? We’re creating a generation of children that are going to be reliant on psychiatric medication for the rest of their lives.”
    ‘We all have mental problems because of Lesbos’

    Karima, from Afghanistan, is also on antidepressants and has trouble sleeping. Most of her family, including her granddaughters, aged two and three, were in a boat from Turkey that sank in the Aegean. They were rescued and brought to Lesbos. For about two years, they lived in the Moria camp.

    Karima’s son; Rahullah tells us: “It was a very bad situation. ... People died, they drank, they killed each other. We didn’t sleep. So now we have mental problems, all of us, just because of Lesbos.”

    Rahullah’s sister F., the mother of the two little girls, became so unwell that she cut herself, says another of her brothers, a softly-spoken law graduate. F.’s husband was murdered in Afghanistan.

    https://gw.infomigrants.net/media/resize/my_image_big/443d9ff81c942af2683452673e248e4f5e6e0c49.jpeg

    Another young asylum seeker in the camp, Ahmad*, is 25. He travelled alone from Afghanistan to Greece. He says that he has twice attempted suicide, and if it hadn’t been for his friends, he would have gone through with it and succeeded in killing himself.
    Removal the only solution

    The IRC’s Martha Roussou says the organization tries to help migrants with counseling and medication, but while some people do improve, “the only durable solution is to remove them from the traumatic space they are living in.”

    Until this happens, she continues, the migrants cannot escape the trauma they have already experienced, “despite the best efforts of psychologists to focus on positivity and hopeful thoughts.”

    According to MSF’S Greg Kavarnos, no matter how much medication or psychotherapy you give a person, “if they’re constantly being traumatized by their experiences, you’re always one step behind.

    “I can’t do anything for the ongoing trauma, the threats of violence, the inability to access simple facilities,” he continues. “I can’t say to the person, ‘it’s okay, things will get better,’ because I don’t know if things will get better for them.”

    *Ahmad is an assumed name

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/28086/lesbos-a-mental-health-crisis-beneath-the-surface
    #santé_mentale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Lesbos #Grèce

  • Lesbos, symbole de l’échec de la politique migratoire européenne
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/09/27/lesbos-symbole-de-l-echec-de-la-politique-migratoire-europeenne_6053793_3210

    L’histoire de Moria a été émaillée d’incidents et de violences lié au surpeuplement du camp : files interminables pour accéder à la nourriture et aux services de base, sanitaires insuffisants, rixes, saleté, départs de feu causés par les chauffages de fortune, tentatives de suicide, cas d’automutilation chez les enfants… Les ONG dénonçaient régulièrement les conditions de vie « inhumaines » de Moria. Plus récemment, l’épidémie de Covid-19 a aggravé l’enfermement et le désespoir des migrants. Les mesures de confinement imposées depuis le mois de mars ont été durcies début septembre, à la suite de la découverte d’un cas positif. Les incendies début septembre auraient été provoqués, selon les autorités grecques, par des résidents du camp eux-mêmes, pour protester contre la dureté de l’enfermement. Aucune campagne de tests n’avait auparavant pas été organisée par Athènes dans les camps situés sur les îles de la mer Egée, malgré la promiscuité et l’insalubrité qui les caractérisent.
    Début septembre, plus de 14 500 migrants étaient bloqués à Lesbos, dans le camp de Moria, et dans les structures alternatives mises en place au fil des années par la municipalité et les résidents de l’île, à Kara Tepe et Pikpa, ou encore par le Haut-commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR). Les migrants ayant le droit de se déplacer en Grèce continentale pendant l’étude de leur demande d’asile restaient bloqués sur l’île, faute de mesures prévues pour leur transfert, et les relocalisations vers le continent organisées ponctuellement par les autorités ont toujours été insuffisantes pour désengorger les structures d’accueil de l’île.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grece#moria#camp#sante#politiquemigratoire#refugie#demandeurdasile#UE#relocalisation

  • "#Moria. Chroniques des limbes de l’Europe" de #Marie_Doutrepont

    Un témoignage-choc dans un camp de migrants interdit aux journalistes !
    Le camp de Moria se situe sur Lesbos, une île grecque paradisiaque. Environ six mille réfugiés s’y entassent, échoués là après un voyage effroyable, entrepris avec ce qu’il leur restait d’espoir. Mais là-bas, c’est nulle part, c’est l’attente interminable.
    Les enfants jouent parmi les déchets. Les malades ne sont soignés qu’avec du paracétamol. Les familles s’entassent dans des containers ou des tentes de fortune. Le grillage est leur seul horizon. Certains d’entre eux refusent de croire qu’ils sont en Europe.
    Marie Doutrepont, avocate bénévole au sein d’une ONG, s’est rendue à Moria pour apporter une assistance juridique de première ligne aux demandeurs d’asile. De ce quotidien bouleversant, elle en écrira des lettres poignantes à ses proches. Ces échanges seront son paracétamol à elle, son exutoire, son « absolue nécessité ».
    Moria. Chroniques des limbes de l’Europe est un témoignage essentiel pour comprendre la douleur de l’exil et l’absurdité de la politique migratoire européenne, en plongeant dans les coulisses interdites de Moria. Un récit simple, humain, à la fois désespéré et pourtant empli d’espoir, car sur une même île, enfer et paradis se côtoient. Et la vie s’accroche malgré tout.

    https://www.facebook.com/180editions/posts/10157872981034199
    #livre #Lesbos #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droit_d'asile #procédure_d'asile #vulnérabilité #hotspot #hotspots #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • #Interview Marie Doutrepont

      Η Marie Doutrepont είναι δικηγόρος, από το Βέλγιο, συγγραφέας του βιβλίου « Μόρια : μετέωροι στο πουθενά της Ευρώπης », που κυκλοφόρησε το 2020 από τις Εκδόσεις Ποταμός. Η συνέντευξη δημοσιεύεται μία μέρα πριν την ανακοίνωση του νέου Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβολαίου (PACT) για τη Μετανάστευση 2020 και στη σκιά της πυρκαγιάς που έλαβε χώρα στην « ντροπή της Ευρώπης », στο Κέντρου Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης / καταυλισμού της Μόρια. Η Doutrepont μιλά με ακρίβεια και καρδιά για την εμπειρία της στη Μόρια, όπου παρείχε εθελοντικά νομική υποστήριξη σε δεκάδες αιτούντες/ούσες άσυλο, που βρέθηκαν παγιδευμένοι/ες μεταξύ των περιοριστικών ευρωπαϊκών νόμων και της αδυναμίας επιστροφής στις χώρες τους.

      Η συνέντευξη είναι συμπαραγωγή του ελληνικού και του βελγικού γραφείου του πρακτορείου ειδήσεων για την ειρήνη, τη μηβία και τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, PRESSENZA.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=7_1wnHyL6Iw&feature=emb_logo

  • Demo : « Alle 12.000 Menschen aus Moria sollen Platz in Wien finden »

    PULS 24 Reporter Paul Batruel hat mit Mo Sedlak, Mitorganisator der Demo, gesprochen. Er will Druck auf die österreichische Regierung ausüben.

    https://www.puls24.at/video/demo-alle-12000-menschen-aus-moria-sollen-platz-in-wien-finden/short
    #solidarité #manifestation #Autrice
    #incendie #Lesbos #feu #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Moria

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’incendie de septembre 2020 à Lesbos :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

  • Des villes en première ligne

    Face à la proposition minimale d’accueil de la Confédération, plusieurs villes, dont #Zurich, #Genève, #Lausanne, #Delémont ou #Fribourg ont annoncé qu’elles étaient prêtes à recevoir des requérant.e.s en provenance de Lesbos après l’incendie qui a ravagé le camp de #Moria.

    Le 8 septembre, un incendie a complètement détruit le tristement célèbre camp de réfugié.e.s de Moria, à quelques encablures maritimes de la Turquie. Dans ce lieu inauguré en 2013, devenu en 2015 un centre d’enregistrement et de contrôle (hotspot), plus de 13’000 personnes, dont 4000 enfants essaient de survivre depuis des mois voire des années dans une infrastructure prévue à la base pour 2000 personnes. Depuis quelques mois, l’apparition du Covid avait encore rendu plus dures les conditions de vie des habitant.e.s. « Depuis mars, les couvre-feux liés à l’épidémie de coronavirus et les restrictions de mouvements des demandeurs d’asile à Moria ont été prolongés sept fois pour une période totale de plus de 150 jours », relève ainsi Aurélie Ponthieu, spécialiste des questions humanitaires chez Médecins sans frontières.

    Cet enfermement sans aucune perspective a sans doute conduit à ce que certains réfugiés incendient par désespoir leur prison d’infortune. Et ce n’est pas la construction d’un nouveau camp de tentes de l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), bâties dans l’urgence par la Protection civile grecque, couplée à la volonté du ministre grec des migrations, Notis Mitarachi, de maintenir les requérants dans l’île qui rabattront la volonté de départ des requérants.

    Face à cette impasse, neuf villes suisses comme Zurich, Delémont, Fribourg, Genève ou Lausanne ont annoncé qu’elles seraient prêtes à accueillir rapidement des réfugiés en provenance de l’Île grecque. « Le chaos, d’une ampleur inédite, met en lumière le besoin immédiat de moyens et de soutien dans les régions en conflit, le long des voies d’exil et aux frontières de l’Europe. Les citoyennes et citoyens, ainsi que les responsables politiques de nombreuses villes de Suisse sont convaincus depuis longtemps que cette crise humanitaire nécessite un engage- ment plus important de notre pays pour l’accueil de réfugié.e.s », expliquent conjointement les deux villes lémaniques et leurs maires, Sami Kanaan et Grégoire Junod, tous deux du PS.

    « L’urgence de la situation n’a fait que s’aggraver entre la surcharge du camp, la gestion du Covid puis finalement cet incendie », argumente David Payot, municipal popiste de la Ville de Lausanne. « Notre objectif est que la Confédération organise dans les plus brefs délais une conférence nationale urgente sur le sujet. Cela permettrait de mettre tous les acteurs institutionnels – Confédération, cantons et villes – à une même table afin d’éviter de se renvoyer la balle. Il faut coordonner les acteurs plutôt que de diluer les responsabilités. Nous voulons aussi mettre la pression sur la Confédération et faire entendre notre voix, qui représente aussi celle de la population suisse », souligne-t-il.

    « L’accueil des migrants relève de la Confédération et l’hébergement des cantons. Par cet appel à la Confédération, nous indiquons que nous sommes prêts à collaborer étroitement avec les cantons pour accueillir des réfugiés dans nos villes », développe le Grégoire Junod. « Nous collaborons en permanence avec l’Etablissement vaudois d’accueil des migrants (EVAM) notamment lorsqu’il s’agit d’ouvrir de nouvelles structures ou de trouver des capacités supplémentaires d’accueil », explique-t-il encore.

    Il faut dire que la ministre PLR de la justice, Karin Keller-Sutter a décidé d’adopter une position minimaliste sur le sujet, déclarant que notre pays n’accueillerait que 20 jeunes migrants non-accompagnés. Très loin de l’Allemagne qui, par l’entremise de sa première ministre, Angela Merkel, vient de réviser sa position et se déclare favorable à l’accueil de 1’500 personnes, essentiellement des familles avec des enfants qui ont été reconnues comme réfugiés par les autorités grecques. A ce contingent s’ajouteront 100 à 150 mineurs isolés évacués du camp de Moria. La France fera de même.

    Rappelons aussi que l’Union européenne (UE) est en train de plancher sur un nouveau pacte européen sur la migration et l’asile, qui sera présenté à l’automne. Celui-ci vise à « créer un cadre global, durable et à l’épreuve des crises pour la gestion de la politique d’asile et de migration au sein de l’UE ». Du côté des organisations d’entraide comme l’Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfu- giés (OSAR), qui a participé à la consultation, on voudrait « un renforcement des voies d’accès sûres et légales vers l’Europe afin de ne pas rendre les personnes vulnérables dépendantes des passeurs et de ne pas les exposer à la violence, à l’exploitation et aux mauvais traitements ».

    La Suisse peut faire beaucoup plus

    « La Suisse peut prendre plus de personnes du fait qu’un article de la loi sur l’asile stipule qu’il est possible d’octroyer, sous certaines conditions, un permis humanitaire ou de faire bénéficier les requérants d’un programme de réinstallation selon les critères du HCR », explique #David_Payot. Dans la pratique, la réception d’un nombre plus élevé de réfugiés ne poserait pas de problèmes. « A Lausanne, si l’on parle de l’accueil d’enfants, nos écoles reçoivent 14’000 élèves. Scolariser quelques dizaines d’élèves supplémentaires est tout à fait possible, et représente un investissement pour leur avenir et le nôtre », explique le Municipal.

    A titre personnel, le magistrat popiste lausannois tient à dénoncer les carences politiques des accords Schengen/Dublin. « Ce système charge les pays de la Méditerranée du plus gros des efforts d’accueil des requérants, alors qu’ils n’en ont pas les moyens. Cette assignation empêche les requérants de postuler dans des Etats ou ils.elles auraient plus de liens. Ce système accroît les problèmes plutôt que de les résoudre. Il faut le changer », soutient David Payot.

    En juin dernier, 132 organisations et plus de 50’000 personnes avaient déjà déposé une pétition demandant au Conseil fédéral de participer à l’évacuation immédiate des camps de réfugiés grecs et d’accueillir un nombre important de personnes en Suisse.
    Huit villes suisses avaient déjà proposé des offres concrètes comme le financement des vols d’évacuation et des hébergements. « C’est une concertation que nous souhaitons développer entre les maires et syndics des grandes villes suisses. 70% de la population vit en zone urbaine et les villes sont aux premières loges de nombreux problèmes, sociaux, migratoires, climatiques. Nous devons êtes mieux entendus », assure #Grégoire_Junod.« Proposer l’accueil de 20 mineurs non accompagnés, comme l’a indiqué le Conseil fédéral, fait honte à notre tradition humanitaire », martèle-t-il.
    Le Conseil fédéral pourra-t-il plus longtemps faire la sourde oreille ?

    https://www.gauchebdo.ch/2020/09/18/des-villes-en-premiere-ligne
    #Lesbos #Grèce #incendie #villes-refuge #asile #migrations #réfugiés #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés

    –—

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

    Et à la métaliste sur les villes-refuge :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/759145

    • #evacuer-maintenant | Manifestation à Berne en faveur de Moria

      Le 10 octobre 2020 aura lieu à 14h30 sur la Place fédérale un rassemblement national organisé par la coalition #evacuer-maintenant. Les organisations militant en faveur du soutien des villes suisses à l’accueil de réfugiés du camps de Moria (voir notre publication du 25 septembre 2020) exigent la fin de la situation inhumaine dans le nouveau camp mis en place suite aux incendies de septembre et somment ainsi la Suisse de prendre ses responsabilités et d’agir au plus vite.

      –---

      Évacuer maintenant – nous avons de la place !

      Le 10.10 à 14h30, nous descendrons dans la rue à Berne (Place fédérale) pour exiger l’accueil immédiat des personnes du camp de Moria et la fin de la situation inhumaine aux frontières de l’Europe !

      La situation aux frontières extérieures de l’Europe s’aggrave. Le camp de réfugié.e.s de Moria – la honte de l’Europe – a complètement brûlé le 09.09. Après l’incendie, les gens n’ont pas été aidés. Au lieu de cela, les réfugié.e.s ont dû rester dans la rue pendant des jours entiers, bloqués par la police et les groupes d’extrême droite qui leur ont interdit l’accès aux villes. Les bénévoles qui ont apporté de la nourriture et de l’eau aux personnes en quête de protection ont été arrêtés par la police. En utilisant des gaz lacrymogènes, la police a finalement forcé les gens à se réfugier dans un nouveau camp. Un camp de l’OTAN, clôturé avec du fil barbelé, gardé par la police et l’armée et composé de tentes instables installées sur un ancien site militaire et dangereusement proches de l’eau. Le sol est contaminé par des munitions. Nous ne devons pas permettre que des personnes soient traitées de la sorte. Plus jamais !

      Depuis des mois et des années, les conditions catastrophiques aux frontières extérieures de l’Europe sont connues. Les organisations de défense des droits humains réclament depuis longtemps la fin de la politique d’isolement de l’Europe, qui met de nombreuses vies en danger. La société civile suisse (plus de 50 000 signatures), 132 organisations et diverses villes et communes se sont mobilisées ce printemps et ont demandé au Conseil fédéral, d’évacuer immédiatement les camps grecs. Mais au lieu d’évacuer la population, le personnel du Corps suisse d’aide humanitaire participe à la construction du nouveau camp. La Suisse investit l’argent des impôts dans la construction d’un camp d’internement parfaitement scandaleux.

      Nous descendrons dans la rue à Berne (Place fédérale) le 10 octobre 2020 à 14:30 heures et montrerons que nous ne sommes pas d’accord avec cela. Nous demandons instamment au Conseil fédéral d’accueillir les personnes en exil dès maintenant. Nous exigeons une politique migratoire qui protège la dignité et les droits de toutes et tous. Nous avons bien assez de places, nous avons suffisamment de ressources, mais surtout nous avons la responsabilité d’agir maintenant ! Les réfugié.e.s sont les bienvenus “Say it loud, say it clear – Refugees are welcome here”.

      https://asile.ch/2020/10/05/evacuer-maintenant-manifestation-a-berne-en-faveur-de-moria

    • #Brugg ist bereit, 9 Menschen aus Lesbos aufzunehmen

      Mit einer klaren Mehrheit von 34 zu 14 Stimmen nimmt der Stadtrat von Brugg das Postulat betreffend Aufnahme von Geflüchteten aus dem Lager Moria an.

      Björn Urs Bürkler (Grüne) und Pascal Ammann (SP) hatten darin gefordert, dass die Stadt Brugg neun geflüchtete Menschen von der griechischen Insel Lesbos aufnehmen soll. Weiterhin solle sie den Kanton und den Bund dazu auffordern, die notwendigen Massnahmen zu treffen, um die Aufnahme zu ermöglichen und sich mit anderen aufnahmebereiten Städten innerhalb und ausserhalb des Kantons koordinieren.

      Erfreulich ist die Fürsprache für dieses Anliegen nicht nur von der SP und den Grünen, sondern auch von EVP, CVP und GLP. Wenn sich diese Parteien auch über die Gemeinde Brugg hinaus für eine menschenwürdige und aufnahmebereite Asylpolitik einsetzen, können die Forderungen nach einer Evakuierung der griechischen Lager vielerorts Mehrheiten finden.

      Der Vorstoss ist Teil der Kampagne «500 Menschen für den Aargau», die vom Verein Netzwerk Asyl Aargau koordiniert wird. Sie fordert die Gemeinden des Aargaus zur Aufnahme von einer geflüchteten Person pro 1356 Einwohnern auf. Zahlreiche Gemeinden haben bereits positive Rückmeldungen gegeben.

      https://seebruecke.ch/2021/01/31/brugg-ist-bereit-9-menschen-aus-lesbos-aufzunehmen

  • Reportage : A Lesbos, l’urgence humanitaire a éclipsé l’épidémie de coronavirus - InfoMigrants
    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27309/reportage-a-lesbos-l-urgence-humanitaire-a-eclipse-l-epidemie-de-coron

    Sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, l’épidémie de coronavirus inquiète les autorités. Les 35 personnes migrantes qui avaient été détectées positives au virus ont fui avec les autres migrants lors de l’incendie qui a détruit le camp de Moria, dans la nuit du 8 au 9 septembre. Mais pour les exilés qui vivent à la rue depuis une semaine, le Covid-19 n’est plus qu’une angoisse lointaine, largement dominée par celle de pouvoir manger chaque jour.
    Sous une couverture grise attachée par un côté à un grillage et soutenue de l’autre par de petits piquets en bois, Jessica est assise, épaules contre épaules, entre deux jeunes hommes. Ces Camerounais sont résignés face à l’impossibilité de préserver toute distanciation sociale au milieu des milliers de personnes qui vivent à la rue depuis une semaine, le long de la route de Mytilène."On est entassé ici comme des poulets en batterie. Quand il y a des distributions [de nourriture] on est agglutinés, c’est impossible d’avoir un mètre de distanciation", s’agace la jeune femme en t-shirt sans manche noir
    Sur les quelques centaines de mètres le long desquels les rescapés de l’incendie du camp de Moria sont installés, le coronavirus semble appartenir à une autre époque. Un temps où, malgré les difficultés de la vie à Moria, les personnes migrantes avaient encore de l’énergie pour éviter les contaminations.Depuis l’incendie, toute distanciation sociale semble impossible et, surtout, l’urgence est ailleurs. « La plus grande préoccupation de ces personnes actuellement, c’est d’avoir accès à de la nourriture et de l’eau », souligne Dimitra Chasioti, psychologue pour Médecins sans frontières (MSF) dans la clinique que l’ONG a installée tout près des tentes

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grece#lesbos#moria#camp#sante#survie#contamination#distanciationsociale#crisehumanitaire#crisemigratoire

  • Giorgos Tsiakalos: “In Europe, a racist policy is being implemented”

    EU policy can rightly be called “Black lives don’t matter in the Mediterranean”

    In June 2020, recognized refugee families, most of which had just arrived in Athens from the Moria camp on the island of Lesvos, were unable to find housing and remained homeless for days, sleeping in Athens’ Victoria Square. June 1, 2020, marked the implementation of the Greek law which terminates the provision of shelter for 11,237 refugees and beneficiaries via the ESTIA housing program.

    “They arrived at Victoria Square, as others had come before them about five years ago. Back then we had said we were caught off guard. Now what do we say? I was there today”, wrote George Tsiakalos, Professor of Pedagogy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in a Facebook post dated June 14.

    George Tsiakalos, along with his wife, Sigrid Maria Muschik, have been providing support to these families not only in recent months, but continuously − since the early days of what became known as the “refugee crisis”.

    https://wearesolomon.com/mag/q-and-a/giorgos-tsiakalos-in-europe-a-racist-policy-is-being-implemented/?mc_cid=a5016dd865&mc_eid=3444239cea

    #greece #refugees #migrants #Moria #camps #Europe #Migration #borders #housing

  • #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

  • Transmis à @isskein par des « ami·es berlinois·es » (#septembre_2020) :

    #Berlin ce soir : sans doute 10 000 personnes dans la rue (et des manifs prévues ce soir, demain et après-demain dans une cinquantaine de villes allemandes) pour demander l’accueil des réfugiés du camp de Moria. Slogan scandé « #wir_haben_Platz » (nous avons de la place), et demande de démission du ministre fédéral de l’intérieur Horst Seehofer (CSU).

    #solidarité #manifestation #Allemagne
    #incendie #Lesbos #feu #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Moria

    –—

    sur l’incendie à Lesbos, voir le fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    • Indignation en Allemagne après les incendies du camp de migrants en Grèce

      La classe politique affiche son indignation après les incendies qui ont ravagé le camp de Moria et aggravé encore plus les conditions de vie de 12 000 migrants sur l’Île de Lesbos en Grèce.

      Si l’Allemagne propose de répartir au sein de l’Union européenne les réfugiés, nombre de voix s’élèvent pour agir dans l’urgence et accueillir le plus rapidement ces personnes en immense détresse. Mais, si certains Länder sont déjà prêts à aider, il en va autrement du gouvernement fédéral.

      « Une catastrophe pour les gens, un désastre pour la politique », dit le journal du soir de la ZDF, la seconde grande chaîne de télévision publique allemande. Dans le viseur, le gouvernement d’Angela Merkel qui par la voix de son ministre de l’intérieur, Horst Seehofer, a répété ces derniers mois, son refus d’accueillir desréfugiés de Moria, malgré la volonté affichée de certains Länder de prendre en charge ces personnes. Joachim Stamp, ministre de l’intégration du Land de Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie, a pris les devants, mercredi, face à l’urgence. Nous avons touché le fond, la situation est dramatique et nous devons aider tout de suite ces personnes à se loger et à se nourrir. En tant que Land, nous avons confirmé au gouvernement grec notre volonté d’apporter une aide financière. Mais, si la solution ne peut se trouver qu’au niveau européen, nous sommes prêts de notre côté, à accueillir 1000 personnes en grand danger", dit Joachim Stamp.

      https://twitter.com/ZDFnrw/status/1303663535222915075

      Toute l’Allemagne mobilisée

      La Basse-Saxe a également fait part de ses capacités à accueillir 500 réfugiés, en plusieurs étapes. Et l’opposition met la pression sur Berlin, notamment les Verts, par la voix de Claudia Roth, vice-présidente du Bundestag. « C’est du ressort du pays qui a, en charge, la présidence du Conseil de l’Union européenne, de mettre enfin un terme à cette course à la mesquinerie qui se fait sur le dos de celles et ceux qui ont tout perdu », s’indigne Claudia Roth.

      Membre du groupe des chrétiens-démocrates au parlement européen, Elmar Brock appelle, lui à une solution européenne :

      « Bien sûr, on peut toujours dire que l’Europe ne fait pas assez. Mais il y a des mesures qui sont sur la table en matière de demandes d’asile et il est urgent de les appliquer. Nous devons enfin trouver un compromis pour répartir les réfugiés parmi les états membres de l’Union. Quitte à les aider financièrement. »

      La balle est désormais dans le camp d’Angela Merkel et de son ministre de l’intérieur. Et pour le secrétaire général du SPD, le partenaire de coalition de la CDU," il n’y a plus d’excuses".

      Plusieurs milliers de personnes ont manifesté spontanément dans plusieurs villes pour exiger des autorités de prendre en charge des migrants. « Droit de séjour, partout, personne n’est illégal » ou encore « nous avons de la place » ont scandé des manifestants à Berlin, Hambourg, Hanovre ou encore Münster.

      Ces dernières années, le camp de Moria a été décrié pour son manque d’hygiène et son surpeuplement par les ONG qui appellent régulièrement les autorités grecques à transférer les demandeurs d’asile les plus vulnérables vers le continent.

      L’île de Lesbos, d’une population de 85.000 personnes, a été déclarée en état d’urgence mercredi matin.

      https://www.dw.com/fr/indignation-en-allemagne-apr%C3%A8s-les-incendies-du-camp-de-migrants-en-gr%C3%A8ce/a-54877738

    • #Appel pour une évacuation immédiate du camp de Moria

      Ce camp, l’un des plus importants en Méditerranée, a été détruit mercredi par un incendie, laissant près de 13 000 réfugiés dans le dénuement le plus total. Des intellectuels de plusieurs pays lancent un appel pour qu’ils soient accueillis dignement.

      Au moment où 12 500 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile errent sans abri sur les routes et les collines de Lesbos, où les intoxiqués et les blessés de l’incendie de Moria sont empêchés par la police de rejoindre l’hôpital de Mytilène, où des collectifs solidaires apportant des produits de première nécessité sont bloqués par les forces de l’ordre ou pris à partie par de groupuscules d’extrême droite, où la seule réponse apportée par le gouvernement grec à cette urgence est national-sécuritaire, nous, citoyen·ne·s européen·ne·s ne pouvons plus nous taire.

      L’incendie qui a ravagé le camp de Moria ne peut être considéré ni comme un accident ni comme le fait d’une action désespérée. Il est le résultat inévitable et prévisible de la politique européenne qui impose l’enfermement dans les îles grecques, dans des conditions inhumaines, de dizaines de milliers de réfugiés. C’est le résultat de la stratégie du gouvernement grec qui, en lieu et place de mesures effectives contre la propagation du Covid-19 dans des « hot-spots », a imposé à ses habitants, depuis six mois déjà, des restrictions de circulation extrêmement contraignantes. A cet enfermement prolongé, est venu s’ajouter depuis une semaine un confinement total dont l’efficacité sanitaire est plus que problématique, tandis que les personnes porteuses du virus ont été sommées de rester enfermées vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre dans un hangar. Ces conditions menaient tout droit au désastre.

      Cette situation intolérable qui fait la honte de l’Europe ne saurait durer un jour de plus.

      L’évacuation immédiate de Moria, dont les habitants peuvent être accueillis par les différentes villes de l’Europe prêtes à les recevoir, est plus qu’urgente. Il en va de même pour tous les autres camps dans les îles grecques et sur le continent. Faut-il rappeler ici que le gouvernement grec a déjà entrepris de travaux pour transformer non seulement les hot-spots, mais toute autre structure d’accueil sur le continent, en centres fermés entourés de double clôture et dotés de portiques de sécurité ? Que serait-il arrivé si l’incendie de Moria s’était déclaré dans un camp entouré d’une double série de barbelés avec des sorties bloquées ? Combien de milliers de morts aurions-nous à déplorer aujourd’hui ?

      Ne laissons pas des dizaines de milliers de personnes, dont le seul crime est de demander la protection internationale, livrées à une politique ultra-sécuritaire extrêmement dangereuse pour leur sécurité voire leur vie. Le gouvernement grec, au nom de la défense des frontières européennes et de la sécurité nationale, non seulement se croit autorisé à violer le droit international avec les refoulements systématiques en mer Egée et à la frontière d’Evros, mais interdit tout transfert sur le continent des victimes de l’incendie de Moria. Car, mis à part le transfert de 406 mineurs isolés au nord de la Grèce, le gouvernement Mitsotakis compte « punir » pour l’incendie les résidents du camp en les bloquant à Lesbos ! Actuellement, 12 500 réfugié·e·s sont actuellement en danger, privé·e·s de tout accès à des infrastructures sanitaires et exposé·e·s aux attaques de groupes d’extrême droite.

      Nous ne saurions tolérer que les requérants d’asile soient privés de tout droit, qu’ils soient réduits à des non-personnes. Joignons nos voix pour exiger des instances européennes et de nos gouvernements l’évacuation immédiate de Moria et la fermeture de tous les camps en Grèce, ainsi que le transfert urgent de leurs résidentes et résidents vers les villes et communes européennes qui se sont déclarées prêtes à les accueillir. Maintenant et non pas demain.

      Il y va de la dignité et de la vie de dizaines de milliers de personnes, mais aussi de notre dignité à nous, toutes et tous.

      Contre les politiques d’exclusion et de criminalisations des réfugié·e·s, il est plus qu’urgent de construire un monde « un », commun à toutes et à tous. Sinon, chacun de nous risque, à n’importe quel moment, de se retrouver du mauvais côté de la frontière.

      Evacuation immédiate de Moria !

      Transfert de tous ses habitants vers les villes européennes prêtes à les accueillir !

      Giorgio Agamben, philosophe. Michel Agier, directeur d’études à l’Ehess. Athena Athanasiou, professeure d’anthropologie sociale, université Panteion, Grèce. Alain Badiou, philosophe. Etienne Balibar, professeur émérite de philosophie, université de Paris-Ouest. Wendy Brown, université de Californie, Berkeley. Judith Butler, université de Californie, Berkeley. Claude Calame, directeur d’études à l’Ehess. Patrick Chamoiseau, écrivain. Zeineb Ben Said Cherni, professeure émérite à l’université de Tunis. Costas Douzinas, université de Londres. Natacha Godrèche, psychanalyste. Virginie Guirodon, directrice de recherches, CNRS. Sabine Hess, directrice des Centers for Global Migration Studies de Göttingen. Rada Iveković, professeur de philosophie, Paris. Leonie Jegen, chercheuse à l’université Albert-Ludwigs de Fribourg. Chloe Kolyri, psychiatre-psychanalyste. Konstantína Koúneva, députée européenne de 2014 à 2019, Gauche unitaire européenne/Gauche verte nordique. Michael Löwy, directeur de recherches émérite, CNRS. Eirini Markidi, psychologue. Gustave Massiah, membre du Conseil international du Forum social mondial. Katerina Matsa, psychiatre. Sandro Mezzadra,université de Bologne. Savas Matsas, écrivain. Warren Montag, Occidental College, Los Angeles. Adi Ophir, professeur invite des humanités, université de Brown, professeur émérite, université de Tel-Aviv. Guillaume Sibertin-Blanc, professeur de philosophie, université Paris-8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis. Didier Sicard, ancien président du Comité consultatif national d’éthique de France. Nikos Sigalas, historien. Athéna Skoulariki, professeure assistante, université de Crète. Vicky Skoumbi, directrice de programme au Collège international de philosophie. Barbara Spinelli, journaliste, Italie. Eleni Varikas, professeure émérite, université Paris-8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis. Dimitris Vergetis, psychanalyste, directeur de la revue grecque αληthεια (Aletheia). Frieder Otto Wolf, université libre de Berlin. Thodoris Zeis, avocat.

      https://www.liberation.fr/debats/2020/09/11/appel-pour-une-evacuation-immediate-du-camp-de-moria_1799245

    • Greece and EU Must Take Action Now

      A Civil Society Action Committee statement calling for an immediate humanitarian and human rights response to the Moria camp tragedy

      The Civil Society Action Committee expresses grave concern over the lives and health of all who were residing in the Reception and Identification Facility in Moria, on the Greek island of Lesvos, which was ravaged by fire this week. We call upon the Greek government and the European Union (EU) to provide immediate and needed support, including safe shelter, to all who have been affected, and with special emphasis to those at risk.

      For many years, civil society has provided support and assistance to people suffering inhumane conditions in the Moria camp. At the same time, civil society has been continuously calling for much-needed sustainable solutions, and a reversal of failed European policies rooted in xenophobia.

      For a Europe that positions itself as a champion of human rights and human dignity, the very existence and overall situation of a camp like that in Moria, is appalling.

      For a Europe that positions itself as a champion of human rights and human dignity, the very existence and overall situation of a camp like that in Moria, is appalling. Other solutions have always been available and possible, and these must now be urgently implemented. A humanitarian and human rights approach must be at the heart of the Greek government’s and EU’s responses.

      As the Civil Society Action Committee, we call for:

      A coherent plan that maximises all available resources for all those who have had to flee the fire in the Moria camp. They should be provided with safe housing, access to healthcare, and sufficient protection from possible violence. National support and consideration should also be given to cities across Europe who have expressed willingness to receive and accommodate those who have had to flee the Moria camp.
      Planning of alternative sustainable solutions for all those that suffer similar conditions in other sites in Greece and elsewhere;
      Lessons learnt and accountability on the failure to act so far.

      As civil society, we stand ready to support such actions to assist and protect all migrants and asylum-seekers suffering in the Moria camp aftermath and elsewhere.

      https://csactioncommittee.org/greece-and-eu-must-take-action-now

    • Migrants : cette fois, Berlin ne veut pas faire cavalier seul

      Malgré la mobilisation des ONG et des partis en faveur d’une prise en charge massive, et faute d’accord européen, l’Allemagne n’accueillera pas plus de 150 migrants mineurs.

      Les Allemands ont accueilli plus de 1,7 million de demandeurs d’asile au cours des cinq dernières années. Malgré toutes les difficultés liées à l’intégration, le manque de solidarité européenne et les tentatives de l’extrême droite de saper le moral de la population, ils sont disposés à rouvrir leurs portes aux enfants et aux familles du camp de Moria. Pour l’instant, les Allemands proréfugiés ont fait plus de bruit que l’extrême droite.

      Des manifestations ont eu lieu dans tout le pays aux cris de « Nous avons de la place ! » Un collectif d’ONG a fait installer, lundi dernier, 13 000 chaises vides devant le Reichstag, le siège de l’Assemblée fédérale (Bundestag), pour symboliser l’absurdité de la situation, alors que 180 communes se sont déclarées prêtes à accueillir des réfugiés. Hambourg, Cologne, Brême, Berlin ou Munich réclament depuis des mois la prise en charge des personnes sauvées en mer Méditerranée. Dix maires de grandes villes, dont Düsseldorf, Fribourg ou Göttingen, ont de nouveau protesté auprès de la chancellerie. « Nous sommes prêts à accueillir des gens pour éviter une catastrophe humanitaire à Moria », ont-ils insisté auprès d’Angela Merkel. Selon l’union des syndicats des services publics (DBB), les places se sont libérées dans les centres d’accueil. Les trois quarts des réfugiés arrivés en 2015 ont trouvé un logement ou ont quitté l’Allemagne. Les capacités sont actuellement de 25 000 places dans le pays, avec la possibilité de monter rapidement jusqu’à 65 000.

      « Détresse »

      A part l’extrême droite (AfD), qui refuse d’accueillir « des gens qui mettent le feu la nuit et qui attaquent les services de secours », tous les partis politiques allemands sont favorables au retour d’une « politique de l’accueil », y compris l’Union chrétienne démocrate (CDU). « Nos valeurs chrétiennes et démocratiques nous obligent à les aider », a insisté Norbert Röttgen, l’un des trois candidats à la présidence de la CDU, successeur potentiel de Merkel à la chancellerie. « Ce n’est pas le moment de trouver une solution européenne mais de répondre à une détresse humaine. L’Allemagne doit accueillir immédiatement 5 000 réfugiés, […] toute seule si nécessaire », estime-t-il dans une lettre signée par 16 autres députés conservateurs.

      Ces 5 000 réfugiés de Grèce seraient déjà en Allemagne si le ministre de l’Intérieur n’avait pas bloqué toutes les procédures. Le Bavarois conservateur Horst Seehofer (CSU), qui fut le grand détracteur de Merkel pendant la « crise des réfugiés », craint un appel d’air et une nouvelle « vague » incontrôlée, comme à l’été 2015, où des centaines de milliers de réfugiés s’étaient mis en route vers l’Allemagne après que la chancelière avait accepté d’en accueillir quelques milliers bloqués en Hongrie.
      « Complice »

      « Cela ne doit pas se reproduire », a prévenu Horst Seehofer, qui est sorti de son silence en fin de semaine. Sachant que l’objectif de la majorité des migrants est l’Allemagne, le ministre a refusé que son pays fasse cette fois cavalier seul. Sans solution européenne, Berlin ne bougera pas. « Nous avons été agréablement surpris d’apprendre que les Néerlandais ont accepté 50 personnes. Jusqu’ici, la position [des Pays-Bas] était différente », s’est félicité le ministre, qui a interprété cette concession néerlandaise comme un premier signe favorable à la mise en place d’un système de répartition en Europe.

      Pour sa part, l’Allemagne se contentera d’accueillir « 100 à 150 mineurs non accompagnés ». Un chiffre jugé scandaleux par les partis de la majorité et par l’opposition, alors que tant de communes sont prêtes à accueillir des réfugiés. « Monsieur Seehofer, vous vous faites le complice de la souffrance endurée par ces gens aux portes de l’Europe », a critiqué Claudia Roth, la vice-présidente des écologistes au Bundestag. « Votre façon de faire n’est pas chrétienne, elle est inhumaine », a accusé Dietmar Bartsch, président du groupe parlementaire de la gauche radicale (Die Linke). « Il a fallu attendre une catastrophe pour qu’on accueille des enfants », a déploré Dietlind Grabe-Bolz, maire sociale-démocrate (SPD) de Giessen, en Hesse, une ville qui fait partie des communes « volontaires » pour l’accueil.

      Une position jugée courageuse par les Allemands, car les élus risquent désormais leur vie pour leur engagement. Dans cette région où se trouve la capitale financière (Francfort-sur-le-Main), le conservateur proréfugiés Walter Lübcke a été abattu d’une balle dans la tête dans son jardin en juin 2019 par un néonazi qui voulait le « punir ». Un assassinat politique sans précédent depuis la fin de la guerre.
      Paris pusillanime

      Une « centaine ». C’est le nombre de migrants que Paris est prêt à accueillir après l’incendie de Moria. Il s’agira « notamment des mineurs isolés », précise au Parisien le secrétaire d’Etat aux Affaires européennes, Clément Beaune. Soit peu ou prou l’engagement d’autres pays de l’UE, comme l’Allemagne ou les Pays-Bas. « Il y a la réponse d’urgence et d’humanité », fait valoir Beaune, qui réclame une solution européenne « pérenne ». Selon lui, la France a participé aux efforts de répartition des réfugiés « à chaque fois qu’il y a eu des urgences humanitaires douloureuses » depuis 2018. Il cite le cas de l’Aquarius en septembre 2018. Sauf qu’à l’époque, Paris n’avaient pas accepté que le navire de secours aux migrants accoste en France et n’avait accueilli 18 des 58 réfugiés sauvés qu’une fois que Malte avait ouvert ses ports au navire humanitaire.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/13/cette-fois-berlin-ne-veut-pas-faire-cavalier-seul_1799396

    • Bild: Germany could take thousands from Greek refugee camp

      Germany is considering taking in thousands of refugees from the destroyed Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos as a one-off gesture and hopes the camp can be rebuilt and run by the European Union, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

      Berlin has been facing growing calls from regional and local politicians who have said they would take in people from the camp, which burned down last week, if the federal government allowed them to.

      Officials, led by federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, have been reluctant to move unilaterally, saying a European agreement is needed to disperse the camp’s more than 12,000 former residents across the European Union.

      Citing government and EU sources, Bild said conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel was now leaning towards taking in more refugees, ahead of a meeting with her Social Democrat coalition partners due to take place on Monday.

      She, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen aim to build a new refugee camp on Lesbos that would be run by the European Union, Bild reported. Currently, Greece runs the camp.

      There was no immediate comment from the government.

      The newspaper said the government was likely to agree to take in at least hundreds of children from the camp along with their parents, with thousands also a possibility.

      Earlier, Social Democrat Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, told a news conference Germany had to be ready to play a role in taking in refugees, though this could only be a stepping stone to finding a Europe-wide way of housing refugees arriving at Europe’s borders.

      “It can’t stand as it is now, where each time we decide on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

      Bild said Merkel hoped the coalition partners could agree by Wednesday on how many refugees Germany will take.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/256934/article/ekathimerini/news/bild-germany-could-take-thousands-from-greek-refugee-camp

    • Thousands of protesters call on Germany to take in Moria refugees

      Thousands of people took to the streets of cities across Germany on Wednesday to show their solidarity and to call on the German government and the EU to take in more than 12,000 migrants left homeless by fires at Moria camp on Lesbos.

      The protesters in cities across Germany including Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg appealed to the government to evacuate all camps on the Greek islands and to bring to Germany migrants and refugees left homeless by the fires in Moria.

      An estimated 3,000 people demonstrated in Berlin on Wednesday evening, some 1,200 took to the streets in Hamburg, and another 300 in Frankfurt, according to police. There were also rallies in Leipzig and other cities across the country.

      Protesters chanted the motto of the demonstration, “We have room,” (Wir haben Platz), as can be heard in a video posted on Twitter by a member of the Sea-Watch charity. They also held up banners that said. “Evacuate Moria” and “Shame on you EU”. Speakers at the rallies said European leaders should have acted even before the fire happened.

      https://twitter.com/J_Pahlke/status/1303735477971935234

      They also called for the resignation of the interior minister, Horst Seehofer, who has so far blocked the arrival of refugees through federal reception initiatives.

      Refugee policy a sticking point

      Districts and states in Germany in the past months have offered to take in refugees from Greece to ease the overcrowding in camps – a move that Seehofer opposes.

      According to German law, refugee policy is decided on the federal level and states and districts may only accept refugees if they receive the green light from the federal government.

      Seehofer has also argued that regional efforts would undermine attempts at agreeing a long-overdue European mechanism for the distribution of refugees across the bloc.

      ’Ready to help’

      Although Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said Germany was ready to help the residents of Moria, he called for the support of all EU member states. “What happened in Moria is a humanitarian catastrophe. With the European Commission and other EU member states that are ready to help, we need to quickly clarify how we can help Greece,” Maas said on Twitter. “That includes the distribution of refugees among those in the EU who are willing to take them in,” he added.

      https://twitter.com/HeikoMaas/status/1303617869897445376

      The fires at Moria this week have burnt down nearly the entire camp, leaving nearly 13,000 people in need of emergency housing. Many spent the first night after the fire on Tuesday evening sleeping in the fields, by the side of the road or in a small graveyard, AP reported.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27190/thousands-of-protesters-call-on-germany-to-take-in-moria-refugees

  • 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

  • Incendie dans le hotspot de Lesbos (septembre 2020)

    12.500 demandeurs d’asile fuient les flammes et errent dans la nuit tandis que le feu pourrait réduire le camp entier en cendres, voir les vidéos sur le site d’efsyn :

    Πύρινη κόλαση στο ΚΥΤ της Μόριας - Εκκενώθηκε ο καταυλισμός

    Στις φλόγες για ακόμα μια φορά ο προσφυγικός καταυλισμός. Επεισόδια μετά την ανακοίνωση των 35 θετικών κρουσμάτων κορονοϊού. Χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες σε αναζήτηση στέγης.

    Μεγάλες φωτιές καίνε από τα μεσάνυχτα όλο τον προσφυγικό καταυλισμό της Μόριας. Χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες βρίσκονται αυτή την ώρα άστεγοι, κυριολεκτικά μέσα στους δρόμους.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc-mFZTobB0&feature=emb_logo

    Περίπου 12.500 κόσμος που διέμεναν στη Μόρια εγκατέλειψαν τη δομή και αρχικά κινήθηκαν προς τον οικισμό της Παναγιούδας, ενώ μέρος τους κινήθηκε και προς άλλες κατευθύνσεις. Την ίδια ώρα διμοιρίες ΜΑΤ με κλούβες δημιούργησαν φραγμό στο ύψος του Καρά Τεπέ αποτρέποντας τους από το να μπουν στην πόλη.

    Η Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία προς ώρας επιβεβαιώνει ότι δεν υπάρχουν αναφορές για θύματα.

    Πώς ξεκίνησε η φωτιά
    Σύμφωνα με τις πρώτες πληροφορίες, της φωτιάς προηγήθηκαν επεισόδια που ξεκίνησαν γύρω στις έντεκα το βράδυ. Η ένταση προκλήθηκε μετά την ανακοίνωση των 35 θετικών κρουσμάτων κορονοϊού στον καταυλισμό και την άρνηση κάποιων εξ αυτών να μπουν σε καραντίνα.


    https://twitter.com/Eva_Cosse/status/1303471253802582024

    Γρήγορα οι αρνητές της καραντίνας ήρθαν σε σύγκρουση με άλλους που επεσήμαναν το κίνδυνο για όλο το καμπ ενώ ομάδες προσφύγων προσπάθησαν να διαφύγουν μέσα από το ΚΥΤ φοβούμενοι την μετάδοση του ιού.

    Γύρω στις 11.00 έκαναν την εμφάνιση τους οι πρώτες φλόγες περιμετρικά του ΚΥΤ και προς τη πλευρά του Ελαιώνα.

    Γρήγορα η φωτιά πέρασε μέσα στο ΚΥΤ και εκεί ομάδα αιτούντων παρεμπόδισε την Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία να εισέλθει. Τότε επενέβησαν τα ΜΑΤ που με τη χρήση δακρυγόνων και κρότου-λάμψης διέλυσαν το συγκεντρωμένο πλήθος, αλλά η φωτιά είχε αρχίσει να καίει όλες τις κρίσιμες εγκαταστάσεις όπως τα γραφεία της Ευρωπαϊκής Υπηρεσίας Ασύλου κ.α

    Φόβοι εκφράζονται και για την νέα δομή υγείας που δώρισε η Ολλανδική κυβέρνηση μιας και οι φλόγες βγήκαν έξω από το ΚΥΤ και κινήθηκαν προς όλες τις κατευθύνσεις.

    Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι την ώρα που ξέσπασε η πυρκαγιά, όλες οι πυροσβεστικές δυνάμεις της Λέσβου ήταν σε απόσταση 70 χιλιομέτρων προσπαθώντας να ελέγξουν το διπλό πύρινο μέτωπο που είχε ξεσπάσει νωρίτερα στην Άντισσα και την Βατούσσα αφήνοντας περί τα δέκα οχήματα στο ΚΥΤ που ήταν αδύνατον να ανταπεξέλθουν.

    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/258965_pyrini-kolasi-sto-kyt-tis-morias-ekkenothike-o-kataylismos

    #Moria #feu #incendie #hotspot #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Grèce

    (incendie qui a eu lieu le 9 septembre 2020, je suis en retard sur cet événement, j’essaie de mettre les nouvelles arrivées ensuite, notamment sur la mailing-list Migreurop, dans les prochains jours sur ce fil de discussion)

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies qui ont eu lieu en Grèce dans des camps de réfugiés :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143

    ping @karine4 @isskein

    • Moria 09/09/20

      OFFICIEL : Lesbos est en état d’urgence depuis 4 mois
      09/09/2020 12:24:00 Société, Lesbos, Immigrants, Incendie, EKTAKTO

      Par arrêté du vice-ministre de la Protection civile et de la gestion des crises, Nikos Hardalia et décision du secrétaire général de la protection civile, Vassilios Papageorgiou, l’unité régionale de Lesbos est déclarée en état d’urgence de la protection civile, pour des raisons de santé publique.

      Cette déclaration est valable à partir d’aujourd’hui 09-09-2020 et pendant quatre (4) mois.

      Les ministres de l’Intérieur T. Theodorikakos, de l’Immigration et de l’Asile N. Mitarakis et le président d’EODY Pan. Arkoumaneas se rend à Lesbos, afin d’être informé de la situation à Moria, comme l’a déclaré le porte-parole du gouvernement St. Petsas, après la fin de la réunion gouvernementale au Palais Maximos.

      Pendant ce temps, des renforts d’Athènes ont été envoyés par la police à Lesbos, afin de faire face au problème qui s’est créé depuis la nuit après les incendies qui se sont déclarés à Moria et ont détruit une très grande partie du KYT. En particulier, trois escouades MAT ont quitté Elefsina à 7 heures du matin sur un avion militaire C-130 et devraient arriver sur l’île à 9 heures.

      Comme il est devenu connu du siège de EL.AS. Il y a déjà des forces fortes sur l’île, cependant tous les étrangers qui étaient dans le KYT après les incendies sont concentrés à l’extérieur de la structure, où ils sont gardés et cherchent des solutions pour leur logement.

      La lumière du jour montre l’ampleur de la destruction du camp - « ville » de 13 000 réfugiés et migrants à Moria. La totalité de la partie extérieure du KYT a été complètement détruite, tandis qu’une grande partie à l’intérieur du camp KYT qui continue de brûler a également été détruite. Les informations indiquent que les infrastructures d’administration et d’identification n’ont pas été incendiées, mais que le service d’asile et son équipement ont été complètement incendiés. En outre, des dommages ont été causés dans la zone de l’unité de soins intensifs et de l’unité de soins intensifs et dans la climatisation de l’unité de santé qui a été faite grâce à un don du gouvernement néerlandais.

      Une grande partie de la population de Moria a fui vers les domaines environnants, tandis qu’une autre partie s’est déplacée vers la ville de Mytilène où à la hauteur de Kara Tepe, juste avant l’usine PPC, une force de police forte a été alignée qui ne leur permet pas d’entrer dans la ville.

      L’incendie s’est déclaré vers minuit, lorsque les réfugiés et les migrants qui avaient été testés positifs pour le coronavirus ou avaient été détectés comme cas de contact ont refusé d’être isolés. Des affrontements se sont ensuivis avec d’autres réfugiés et migrants qui les ont poussés hors du camp. Ce conflit a pris à un moment donné un caractère tribal avec le résultat que des incendies ont éclaté, qui bientôt, en raison du vent fort, ont pris des dimensions.

      Il est à noter que, comme indiqué, les forces des pompiers, arrivées au camp pour tenter, ont été attaquées par des groupes de demandeurs d’asile qui ont entravé leur travail. En ce moment, les pompiers opèrent dans le camp avec le renforcement des moyens aériens, afin d’éteindre complètement le feu puis de contrôler la zone.

      Source : skai.gr

      https://www.lesvospost.com/2020/09/blog-post_50.html

      On craint une propagation du coronavirus dans tout Mytilène si les quelque 12000 réfugiés et immigrants ne sont pas expulsés immédiatement et dans une zone éloignée du tissu urbain après l’incendie qui s’est déclaré peu avant minuit mardi à Moria, exprime le maire de Mytilene S.

      « Les quelque 12 000 réfugiés ne peuvent pas rester un deuxième jour à ce moment-là. Dix ans nous ont laissés seuls sur la question des réfugiés. Les immigrants doivent être expulsés ici et maintenant. "Sinon, il y aura une propagation du virus dans toute la région", a déclaré le maire de Mytilène, Stratis Kytelis, à ethnos.gr.

      12000 réfugiés et migrants restent sur la route nationale

      Les réfugiés et les migrants restent sur la route nationale à la hauteur de Panagouda et se trouve à seulement six kilomètres de Mytilène tandis que les forces de police ont créé un barrage pour les empêcher de s’y déplacer. Trois escouades MAT avec une force totale de 60 personnes sont déjà parties du Pirée à Lesbos les forces de l’île. Il est à noter qu’à partir du contrôle des échantillons de liquide pharyngien reçus les trois jours de jeudi, vendredi et samedi par les équipes d’EODY parmi 1900 résidents de l’hôpital de Moria et 100 employés, un total de 35 cas positifs pour le virus ont été trouvés, au total des réfugiés et autres demandeurs d’asile. . Il est à noter qu’en plus des 35 réfugiés en quarantaine, 100 autres personnes étaient entrées en contact avec eux.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 09.09.2020

    • Moria : “Time bomb” exploded, burned down Hotspot & “European values”


      It was short before Tuesday midnight when fires broke out in several parts in- and outside the Moria camp. The powerful winds quickly spread the flames around, through containers and tents. Total destruction. 13,000 people on the streets. The island of Lesvos has declared in “state of emergency.” Authorities investigate arson. Alarm for the 35 confirmed coronavirus cases that authorities do not know their whereabouts. No reports of fatalities or injuries.

      https://twitter.com/f_grillmeier/status/1303478067348803584

      The worst scenario happened – and while there was a scenario, plans to deal with it equaled to zero.

      https://twitter.com/th1an1/status/1303452650663370752

      A large part of the refugees and asylum seekers fled to the surrounding areas, while another part has moved to the city of Mytilene. However, strong police forces have been lined up in the area of Kara Tepe and do not allow them to enter the city.

      https://twitter.com/veramagalik/status/1303571532992712704

      Others entered the camp in the morning apparently seeking to save some of their belongings.

      https://twitter.com/KallergisK/status/1303554698083995650

      The entire camp outside the camp including thousands of olive trees have been destroyed, also a large part inside the hotspot.

      According to information the administration and identification infrastructures were not burned, but the Asylum Service and its equipment were completely burned.

      Damaged are also the area of ​​the Intensive Care Unit as wells as the new health Care unit recently donated by the Dutch Government.

      According to local media stonisi, that speaks of “uprising and fire“, clashes erupted in the camp after 35 people were confirmed positive to coronavirus on Tuesday. They, their families and their contacts refused to go in isolation in a warehouse just outside the camp. Others started to leave out of fear to contract the virus.

      The clashes “soon led to fires initially around the camp that burned all the tents outside and around the KYT and containers inside,” notes the local news website.

      https://twitter.com/SEENOTRETTUNG/status/1303445925524910086

      Three squads of riot police have been reportedly deployed from Athens to Moria.

      Authorities seek accommodation solutions for the thousands of people.

      Residents of overcrowded Moria camp have been in lockdown for several months due to the coronavirus.

      Chief of Fire Service, Konstantinos Theofilopoulos, told state broadcaster ERT on Wednesday morning, that several fires started around 10:30 at night and that they were initially hindered with thrown stones.

      He added that the fire has been largely extinguished except from the containers that are still burning inside.

      Citing sources of the National Intelligence Service, ERT reported that initially the tents outside the camp were set on fire.

      Quick are the far-right conspiracy theorists who see in the blaze “act of asymmetric warfare” against Greece and blame “Erdogan’s soldiers” for the fire.

      Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakisis currently chair an emergency meeting with the ministers of Citizen Protection, Migration Policy and Asylum and Interior, the chiefs of National Intelligence and the General Staff of Armed Forces, and the head of the Civil Protection.

      The vice president of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Promotion of the European way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, expressed the Commission’s intention to assist Greece at all levels.

      EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said that she had agreed to fund the immediate transfer and accommodation on the Greek mainland of the 400 unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers.

      PS The fire in Moria burned down not only the camp but also the “European values”…

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/09/moria-fire-camp-burned-down-pictures-videos

    • Grèce : un important incendie ravage le camp de Moria, des milliers de personnes à évacuer

      Un énorme incendie a ravagé dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi le camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Le site, qui héberge plus de 12 000 personnes, a été « détruit à 99% » selon les pompiers. La tension est à son comble sur l’île : des migrants ont empêché les pompiers de rentrer dans le camp et des membres de l’extrême droite ont « attaqué » les ONG qui tentaient de venir en aide aux exilés.

      Le camp de Moria où s’entassent plus de 12 000 migrants a pris feu dans la nuit du mardi 8 au mercredi 9 septembre. Selon les pompiers, le site a été presque entièrement détruit. « La quasi-totalité du camp est en feu, aussi bien à l’intérieur que les tentes qui se trouvent à l’extérieur dans l’oliveraie », a observé un photographe de l’AFP présent sur place. « Tout brûle », a déclaré sur Twitter une association d’aide aux migrants, Stand by me Lesvos.

      Plusieurs heures après le début de l’incendie, une fumée noire continuait à s’élever au dessus du camp. Le président du syndicat des pompiers de Lesbos, Yorgos Ntinos, a indiqué mercredi matin que le camp « a brûlé à 99% et le feu continue ».

      https://twitter.com/iwatnew/status/1303488090716205056

      Des centaines de demandeurs d’asile fuyaient à pied dans la nuit vers le port de Mytilène mais ont été bloqués par les véhicules des forces de l’ordre, raconte à InfoMigrants Alpha*, un migrant vivant dans un conteneur du camp de Moria. « On n’a pas dormi de la nuit et personne ne nous a donné à manger ou à boire. Il y a beaucoup de femmes et d’enfants », précise-t-il.

      D’autres personnes se sont abritées dans les collines environnant le camp. « Certains témoignages rapportent que des locaux bloquent le passage (des migrants) dans le village voisin », rapporte encore Stand by me Lesvos.

      Le site d’information locale Lesvospost explique que plus de 3 000 tentes, des milliers de conteneurs, des bureaux de l’administration et une clinique au sein du camp ont également été brûlés.

      https://twitter.com/dfherman/status/1303491672685318149

      Pour l’heure, les pompiers précisent qu’"il n’y a pas de victimes, mais quelques blessés légers avec des problèmes respiratoires dus à la fumée". Des rumeurs annonçaient mercredi matin le décès d’au moins cinq personnes - une information que n’a pas pu vérifier InfoMigrants."Je pense que d’autres morts seront à déplorer car Moria est à terre", souffle Alpha.
      État d’urgence déclaré

      La tension est à son comble sur l’île. Les pompiers affirment dans leur communiqué avoir « été empêchés d’entrer dans le camp pour intervenir » par certains groupes de réfugiés, et avoir fait appel aux forces de l’ordre pour pouvoir poursuivre l’opération de secours. Plusieurs associations racontent avoir été « attaquées » par des membres de l’extrême droite alors qu’elles tentaient de venir en aide aux migrants.

      « L’île de Lesbos est déclarée en état d’urgence » a affirmé sur la chaîne de télévision publique ERT, le porte-parole du gouvernement grec, Stelios Petsas. Une réunion gouvernementale, avec le Premier ministre et le chef de l’état-major, doit se tenir mercredi matin « pour examiner la situation à Moria et les mesures qui vont être prises ».

      https://twitter.com/f_grillmeier/status/1303446446734274565

      D’après l’agence de presse grecque ANA, les feux auraient été déclenchés à la suite de la révolte de certains demandeurs d’asile qui devaient être placés en isolement, ayant été testés positifs au coronavirus ou proches d’une personne détectée positive. « Il y a 35 cas positifs et ils doivent être isolés (...) pour empêcher la propagation » du virus, a déclaré Selios Petsas à la chaîne publique TV ERT. Tous les réfugiés du camp ont l’interdiction de quitter l’île, a-t-il ajouté.

      Selon Alpha, « des Afghans ont refusé que des agents procèdent à des tests de coronavirus ». La situation a rapidement dégénéré et « les forces de l’ordre ont lancé des gaz lacrymogènes ». « J’étais dans mon conteneur quand j’ai entendu du bruit à l’extérieur. Je n’ai pas voulu sortir. Mais des flammes ont commencé à entrer dans mon habitation alors je me suis enfui en courant. Le feu était juste à côté de moi, j’ai eu très peur », continue le jeune homme.

      « La zone paie le prix de l’indifférence et de l’abandon », estime sur Facebook Facebook l’association des habitants de Moria et des autres villages environnants qui appelle les autorités à agir rapidement pour trouver une solution pour les demandeurs d’asile qui se retrouvent sans abri.

      La semaine dernière, les autorités ont détecté un premier cas de coronavirus à Moria et ont mis le camp en quarantaine pour quinze jours. Après la réalisation de 2 000 tests de dépistage, 35 personnes ont été détectées positives au Covid-19 à Moria et mises à l’isolement.

      De strictes mesures de circulation ont été imposées dans les camps de migrants depuis la mi-mars. Le gouvernement n’a jamais levé ces restrictions malgré les critiques des ONG de droits de l’homme jugeant ces mesures « discriminatoires » alors que la décision a été prise de déconfiner le pays début mai. « Depuis des mois, on est bloqués à l’intérieur du camp, on ne peut pas en sortir. Cela fait un moment que la tension est palpable, les gens ont en marre d’être privés de leur liberté », dit encore Alpha.

      *Le prénom a été modifié

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27131/grece-un-important-incendie-ravage-le-camp-de-moria-des-milliers-de-pe

    • Après l’incendie de Moria, la Commissaire appelle les autorités grecques à venir en aide à tous les sinistrés

      « Dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, le feu a détruit en grande partie le centre d’enregistrement et d’identification de Moria et les campements informels qui l’entourent, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Cet incendie a considérablement dégradé les conditions de vie des plus de 12 000 demandeurs d’asile et migrants, dont plus de 4 000 enfants, qui sont retenus dans un centre d’une capacité inférieure à 2 800 places », a déclaré la Commissaire.

      « L’intervention rapide des autorités locales et des pompiers a permis d’éviter une tragédie. Toutefois, la situation reste tendue, en ce qui concerne à la fois les migrants et la population locale qui vit à proximité du camp.

      J’appelle les autorités grecques à fournir d’urgence un hébergement à toutes les personnes privées d’#abri à la suite de l’incendie, en veillant à ce qu’elles aient accès à des soins, à des installations sanitaires, à un soutien psychologique et à de la nourriture. Il faudrait accorder une attention particulière aux personnes contaminées par le coronavirus et leur dispenser les soins nécessaires.

      Il importe également que les autorités grecques de tous niveaux protègent les demandeurs d’asile et les migrants contre les agressions et s’abstiennent de tenir des propos qui pourraient attiser les tensions.

      La situation sur les autres îles grecques où sont hébergés des réfugiés, des demandeurs d’asile et des migrants n’est guère différente de celle qui prévaut à Lesbos ; sur ces autres îles aussi, les difficultés pourraient s’aggraver. Comme beaucoup, je ne cesse de répéter qu’une aggravation de la situation semble inévitable si la Grèce et les autres États membres du Conseil de l’Europe ne changent pas de stratégie. Certes, la priorité est actuellement de répondre aux besoins humanitaires des sinistrés, mais l’incendie de Moria montre l’urgence de repenser entièrement la stratégie appliquée ces dernières années, qui a conduit à la création de camps surpeuplés, caractérisés par des conditions de vie inhumaines et intenables, à Moria et sur d’autres îles de la mer Égée. Il n’est tout simplement pas possible d’héberger les demandeurs d’asile et les migrants sur des bateaux, ou de recourir à d’autres formes d’hébergement d’urgence, en attendant que le camp de Moria soit remis en état, puis de continuer comme avant.

      Les autorités grecques n’ont toujours pas réglé une série de problèmes majeurs, comme le cantonnement des demandeurs d’asile et des migrants sur les îles de la mer Égée, le manque de structures d’accueil, sur les îles et sur le continent, et les insuffisances des politiques d’intégration et d’asile. La situation catastrophique dénoncée depuis des années par de nombreuses instances nationales et internationales est cependant aussi imputable à l’attitude des autres États membres, qui n’aident guère la Grèce en matière de relocalisation, et plus largement au manque de solidarité européenne. Ce n’est pas seulement un problème grec, c’est aussi un problème européen.

      Il n’y a plus de temps à perdre. La Grèce a besoin d’une aide concrète et de grande ampleur de la part des autres États membres du Conseil de l’Europe. Si de nombreuses collectivités locales se sont déclarées prêtes à apporter leur contribution, les autorités nationales, en revanche, se montrent trop frileuses. Je me réjouis que certains États membres semblent vouloir intensifier leurs efforts de relocalisation, mais il est urgent qu’ils agissent et que d’autres gouvernements européens suivent cette voie.

      La Grèce et ses partenaires doivent enfin se décider à régler les problèmes structurels d’une politique migratoire qui a déjà causé tant de souffrances inutiles. Attendre encore, c’est prendre le risque que d’autres drames se produisent. »

      https://www.coe.int/fr/web/commissioner/-/commissioner-calls-on-the-greek-authorities-to-provide-adequate-support-to-all-

      #sans-abri #SDF

    • ’Catastrophe’ warning as thousands left homeless by Lesbos refugee camp fire

      NGOs accuse police of blocking access to hospital for families and vulnerable migrants injured in Moria blaze.

      NGOs in Lesbos have warned that a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding on the roads around the still burning Moria camp, where thousands of migrants are allegedly being held by police without shelter or adequate medical help.

      Annie Petros, head coordinator of of the charity Becky’s Bathhouse, said she was blocked by police from taking injured people to hospital as she drove them away from the fire.

      “When we saw there was a fire we drove as fast as we could with water to the camp, intending to take sick people to hospital. I can’t describe properly the scene we saw. There were streams of people, thousands of them, walking away from the camp. They were totally silent, terrified and traumatised, walking through thick smoke and the awful smell of burning plastic,” she said.

      “We picked up some pregnant women who needed urgent help and a teenage boy with a broken leg. When we neared the town of Mytilene there were riot police blocking the way to stop anyone reaching the town. I begged the police but their commander wouldn’t let us through. We called an ambulance and it refused to come to the roadblock.”

      Petros said she was sent along back roads, that brought them into contact with a group of anti-migrant protesters.

      She learned later that some people were attacked.

      She said the people she took to the hospital were the only ones who managed to make it through. “There are many people who need help with burns, with smoke inhalation.”

      Other aid organisations in the area said urgent work was needed to get people shelter before night fell.

      Omar Alshakal, a former refugee and founder of Refugees4Refugees, said: “The situation is out of control. We were looking after minors here and the safe place for them was lost in the fire. We lost 30 children. We are looking for them now.”

      Alshakal said the Greek government was making some effort, but the situation was severe. “We now have 12,000 people with no shelter, homeless on the main road. I have been called just now by the army, they want to get food to people and masks, sanitisation.”

      He said he was concerned that the isolation unit for Covid-19 patients was now abandoned. “We had 19 positive cases all in isolation, now they have left the camp. We have the fear they will spread the virus further.”

      The cause of the fire is unclear. Alshakal believes it was started by refugees in protest at conditions.

      The overcrowded camp is known to be a dangerous space, with small fires being lit to cook and no safe distancing between ramshackle tarpaulins used as tents.

      Moira was opened at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. It was originally intended to hold 3,000 people. The charity MSF has been pushing the Greek authorities to improve conditions at the camp for years.

      Amir, a 19-year-old migrant from Afghanistan who teaches English in the School of Peace in the camp, said: “At about 11 last night I saw people starting fires deliberately. It was refugees who were very, very angry about the situation in this camp. We have been a long time in quarantine, you know we are under a lockdown while there are no such rules or laws for Greek people. It is racist, they are treating people like we are animals. We have needs, but we can’t leave this camp to get medicine or food.”

      He added: “The situation will now be worse for refugees. Our school is completely burned down. We had started to have hope that we could continue our learning but all that is gone now.”

      Aid groups are meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss an urgent response. They want people moved from the roadside immediately.

      Philippa Kempson of the Hope Project, said a government-ordered 3.5-mile (6km) cordon around the camp meant she couldn’t get to her supplies.

      “We have a building full of aid, nappies, water, very near Moria,” she said. “People can’t reach the city, they are out on an exposed road in 32C with children and babies. These people left the camp with what they had. We are 10km away and I had an asthma attack this morning due to the toxic smoke. Everything in there is plastic: the tents, the temporary housing blocks. And fires are still breaking out, the fire helicopter is still overhead.”

      She said the only light in the dark situation was that in two months the camp was due to be completely locked down. “Can you imagine if the fire had started in a couple of months when they had fenced it in with razor wire as they were planning to do? You would have had 12,000 people trapped in an inferno.”

      The UNHCR is working with the authorities to move people to safety. The agency said the authorities have blocked the road to stop uncontrolled movement but that vulnerable groups were being prioritised for shelter across the island and in accommodation in Mytilene, the island’s capital.

      Ylva Johansson, EU commissioner for home affairs, tweeted she had “agreed to finance the immediate transfer and accommodation on the mainland of the remaining 400 unaccompanied children and teenagers. The safety and shelter of all people in Moria is the priority.”

      The police have been approached for comment.


      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/09/catastrophe-warning-as-thousands-left-homeless-by-lesbos-refugee-camp-f

    • FIRE DESTROYS MUCH OF MORIA CAMP, FOLLOWING FOUR YEARS’ EUROPEAN TOLERANCE OF FATAL RISKS TO MIGRANTS

      In the early hours of this morning, a large fire broke out in Moria Refugee Camp, which has left much of the camp destroyed, and many of the approximately 13, 000 residents displaced.

      This comes a week after the first person tested positive for COVID-19 in the camp, which was immediately followed by the government’s official initiation of works to transform Moria refugee camp to a closed controlled centre. In the days that followed, at least 30 other people have tested positive for COVID-19 – in a camp that is currently at four times’ its stated capacity, where basic preventative measures are a practical impossibility and where there was no functioning COVID-19 isolation clinic.

      The dehumanisation of migrants at the European border and apparent indifference to the impact of this protracted, unsustainable situation on the local population have had repeatedly devastating consequences. Migrants have been consistently confined to overcrowded, insecure and fundamentally inhuman conditions, where fires – often fatal – are a regular occurrence. This was not the first fire in Moria camp; it was not even the first fire in the camp this year. Such fatal risks to – and loss of – migrant lives are instead tolerated as part of the European border regime.

      Following the near destruction of Moria Camp, this morning the Greek government placed the island of Lesvos under a four month state of emergency. The police and army have been on the streets around Moria camp since the fire broke out, and three riot police squads (known as the Units for the Reinstatement of Order) were flown in from Athens this morning. As far as we know, no additional medical capacity or humanitarian aid has been mobilised or provided. The government’s immediate dispatch of security forces, before or without humanitarian assistance, continues their policy of framing migrants as a question of public order – and prioritising their securitisation as opposed to the provision of urgent assistance.

      The Greek authorities’ main priority so far seems to be the prevention of migrants’ access to Mytiline: a police blockade was established next to Kara Tepe camp in the early hours of this morning, to prevent migrants who had fled the fire from reaching the city, and it remains there to this point. Police units have also blocked the main access road to Moria camp. People who had been living in the camp are spread out on the roads around Moria camp, in the surrounding forests, and in the car park of a nearby supermarket. From what migrants have told us, there have been no state provisions – whether of essentials such as food or water, or other necessities such as hygiene facilities – in those locations.

      There has never been an evacuation plan for Moria Camp residents, and when the fire broke out last night, people were left to flee on their own – including those who had been held in the pre-removal detention centre inside Moria Camp (PRO.KE.KA.). Some of those living in the sections for vulnerable people (including unaccompanied children and single women) were woken up by police, but given no instruction of where they could or should go. At present, there remains a profound lack of information regarding the safeguarding or protection response for such groups. When we spoke with vulnerable individuals supported by Legal Centre Lesvos in the early hours of this morning, they were scattered in the forests and roads surrounding the camp, without any state support.

      There is still no official confirmation of casualties, or even hospitalisations.

      Those who have returned to Moria camp this morning have sent photos of the destroyed camp, including the remains of their tents and shelters. Residents have emphasised that the many of the facilities – including toilets and sanitation spaces – have been burnt. The already-inadequate provisions to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 among the camp’s population have now been destroyed, and given that over thirty residents of the camp have tested positive for the virus in recent days, a failure to implement a rapid and health-oriented response for displaced residents will no doubt increase the number of cases – and will likely overwhelm the stretched public healthcare system.

      “This fire is a visceral manifestation of European policies, which have for years tolerated the containment of migrants in dangerous, overcrowded and insecure conditions,” said Amelia Cooper, of the Legal Centre Lesvos. “Repeated fatal incidents – including the death of a seven-year-old child in a fire in Moria camp, just six months ago – have not been enough to prompt the evacuation of Moria refugee camp; neither has been the outbreak of a global pandemic, nor the detection of positive cases, nor the Greek government’s instrumentalisation of these facts to impose mass detention on camp residents. Residents of Moria camp, and migrants in hotspots across Europe, are in situations of manufactured and state-sanctioned vulnerability. This fire was not an accident, it was an inevitability.”

      https://legalcentrelesvos.org/2020/09/09/fire-destroys-much-of-moria-camp-following-four-years-european-to

    • Joint statement of 31 NGOs regarding the fire at the Registration and Identification Centre at Moria

      Greece: Transfer Refugees and Asylum seekers to Safety on Mainland

      Respect for Human Rights should Prevail over Use of Force

      Following yesterday’s fire in Moria, on Lesvos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organizations call on the Greek Government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, must be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.

      The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people should be prioritized. People who tested positive for Covid-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, healthcare, and hospitalization if necessary.

      Moving people from Lesvos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources including those from the EU and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.

      In these difficult times, it is of outmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.

      ActionAid Hellas

      Amnesty International

      Boat Refugee Foundation

      CRWI Diotima

      ECHO100PLUS

      ELIX

      Equal Rights Beyond Borders

      Fenix - Humanitarian Legal Aid

      Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)

      Hellenic League for Human Rights

      Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη)

      Help Refugees

      Hias Greece

      HumanRights360

      Humanitarian Legal Aid

      Human Rights Watch

      International Rescue Committee (IRC)

      INTERSOS Hellas

      Legal Centre Lesvos

      Médecins Sans Frontières

      Melissa

      Network for Children’s Rights

      Omnes

      Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

      Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)

      Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)

      Refugee Trauma Initiative

      Solidarity Now

      Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece

      Terre des hommes Hellas

      The HOME Project

      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1499-joint-statement-of-31-ngos-regarding-moria-refugee-camp-fire

    • New fire breaks out in Moria camp on Wed evening

      A new large fire broke out at the Reception and Identification Center in Moria early Wednesday evening, just hours after the overcrowded hotspot on the island of Lesvos was largely destroyed by the fire the previous night.

      The fire is reportedly burning in the area of ​​Eleonas, the olive grove, outside the camp, where thousands of people of who do fit in live in tents.

      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1303744178053165056

      Media report that the fire started in some of the 200 tents that were not burned down on Tuesday night. Explosion sounds were heard, and they probably came form the cooking devices the refugees used.

      https://twitter.com/th_voulgarakis/status/1303738169729441795

      Hundreds of people among them many families with children, were leaving the area.

      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1303737094704070657

      Firefighters have rushed to the scene but the blaze went out of control due to the strong winds.

      https://twitter.com/News247gr/status/1303739366179835906

      STAR TV reported from the spot that the firefighters are now trying to protect the nearby forest.

      Thousands left the camp that hosted 12,800 people.

      It remains unclear whether it is a new fire or a resurgence of the one that already destroyed much of the Moria hotspot the other night.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/09/moria-new-fire-wednesday-evening

    • All people in Moria camp must be evacuated to safety in wake of destructive fire

      Nearly 12,000 men, women and children have been forced to evacuate Moria refugee camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, after a fire tore through the camp during the night of 8 September. While the fire is not believed to have caused any deaths, the camp was almost completely burned down, and people are now on the streets, with nowhere to stay. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges Greek and EU authorities to immediately evacuate people off the island to safety.

      “Our teams saw the fire spread across Moria and rage all night long. The whole place was engulfed in flames, we saw an exodus of people from a burning hell with no direction,” says Marco Sandrone, MSF field coordinator in Lesbos. “Children were scared, and parents are in shock. We are relieved that there seem to be no victims and we are working now to address the immediate needs of the people.”

      All medical services available for the refugees and asylum seekers have been interrupted, including services at the MSF paediatric clinic.

      Almost five years of trapping people in dire conditions has led to tensions and despair. This has only increased over the last five months due to restricted movements in the camp, hastily justified as a public health measure amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the recent confirmation of positive cases of COVID-19 among the camp’s residents, the increasing restrictions on people have made the situation unbearable.

      MSF has been pushing the Greek health and migration authorities to set up an adequate COVID-19 response plan for Moria, that counts on people’s collaboration and which offers dignity to the sick and to those who are infectious.

      “The Greek authorities have failed to put such a response in place, and the EU and other EU member states have disclaimed responsibility and have done close to nothing to resolve this situation,” says Aurelie Ponthieu, MSF Humanitarian Advisor on Displacement. “The years-long orchestration of human suffering and violence produced by European and Greek migration policies are to blame for the fire, and we can only hope that the same system of inhumane containment will not be reborn from the ashes in Moria.”

      MSF calls on the Greek authorities to immediately adopt an emergency response plan and to evacuate all these people to a safe place on the mainland or to other European countries. We are ready to provide the support that is needed during the emergency response.

      https://www.msf.org/refugees-moria-must-be-evacuated-wake-destructive-fire

      #MSF

    • Incendie à Moria - Evacuer MAINTENANT !

      Incendie à Moria - Evacuer MAINTENANT !

      La nuit dernière, un incendie a détruit le camp de réfugié.e.s surpeuplé de Moria. Près de 13 000 personnes vivaient dans le camp dont la capacité officielle n’est que de 2 757 personnes. Suite à ces incendies, aucune évacuation n’a été organisée. Par ailleurs, il n’y a jamais eu de plan d’évacuation pour l’ensemble du camp malgré les dangers et les conditions inhumaines. Au printemps 2020, l’Europe et la Suisse n’ont pas réussi à réaliser l’évacuation des camps et la redistribution des personnes entre les différents États européens, alors que la situation l’exigeait et malgré les mobilisations.

      Le 2 septembre, une première personne a été testée positive au Covid-19 à Moria. Au lieu d’identifier de manière systématique les possibilités d’infection, le camp entier a été mis en quarantaine. Toutes les personnes ont donc été fortement exposées au risque d’infection. La seule réponse a été leur enfermement aux frontières de l’Europe.

      Le 23 juin 2020, plus de 50 000 personnes ont demandé au Conseil fédéral de participer à des opérations d’accueil humanitaire pour évacuer les camps des îles grecques. Le 16 juin 2020, le Conseil national a approuvé la motion visant à accepter des réfugiés de Grèce et les huit plus grandes villes de Suisse ont accepté d’accueillir des réfugié.e.s directement de Grèce. Nous demandons une nouvelle fois au Conseil fédéral, à Karin Keller-Sutter en tant que cheffe du département du DFJP et au SEM d’accueillir les réfugié.e.s de Grèce et de fournir une aide d’urgence immédiate sur le terrain.

      https://www.sosf.ch/fr/sujets/schengen-europe/informations-articles/incendie-a-moria.html?zur=41

    • Thousands Moria refugees on the streets, locals set blockades, new fires

      The situation on the island of Lesvos remain tense on Thursday, with thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers to have spent the night on roadsides, fields and even cemeteries, waiting for aid and a provisional shelter. Led by the Mayor of Mytilene, locals have set blockades to hinder the government from repairing fire damages in the Moria camp or embark the vulnerable among the homeless on a ferry.

      “People that lost their shelters in #MoriaCamp due to the fires are finding shade and temporary resting ground between graves in a Greek orthodox cemetery.” via @daphnetolis.

      At the same time, new fires broke out in the camp also early Thursday afternoon to burn down what was not damage din the last two days.

      While signs hind to an “arson plan,” so far, no perpetrators have been captured, no report by the Fire Service has been issued.

      The government desperate tries to find solutions to the crisis that has emerged on the island but it is extremely difficult without the support by the local authorities and the people.

      Refugees and locals seem to agree on one point: This is “hell on earth” for both sides.

      The island has been declared a state of emergency for four months.

      New fires show “arson plan”

      Fires broke out again inside the camp early Thursday afternoon. According to state news agency amna, the fire broke οut simultaneously in three different points of the hotspot.

      The fires broke in a camp section that was not damaged by the fires on Tuesday and Wednesday, and where refugees were still living.

      The latest fire shows that despite the fact that the government has deployed several squads of police there, there is not policing in the area, which is an arson crime scene, after all, as the government says.

      According to local media stonisi, “the new fires today now prove the existence of an organized arson plan by unknown centers and for reasons currently unknown. A plan that the Police seems to not be able to deal with.”

      Refugees for a second time

      Over 12,000 people spend the second night on the streets, slept next to garbage bins and police buses. Some found no other place to spend the night other than between graves of a cemetery.

      Helpless without shelter and food, after the fire damage, they grabbed their children, helped their elderly, packed whatever they could save and left again for the Unknown and a new nightmare.

      Tear gas against children

      Riot police does not allow the refugees to reach the island capital Mytiline and set blockades at the road to Kara Tepe, where another camp operates.

      In the early morning hours of Thursday, the crowd threw stones at the police forces that responded with tear gas.

      Among the tear gas target are also children that scream in fear.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYUwNV-0oJw&feature=emb_logo

      Locals set up blockades

      At the same time, residents and members of local authorities are opposing the government’s attempt to repair the damage in the camp and make it available again for the refugees and asylum seekers.

      Local authorities of East Lesvos had repeatedly called for de-congestion of the camp. They belive that the new situation that emerged after the fire will have them relocate to the mainland.

      They reject any government proposals to have the refugees accommodated in two military camps or in the area surrounding the Moria camp.

      Trucks and other machinery deployed by the municipality hinders the cleaning of Moria by the Armed forces, while the mayor reportedly keeps calling on locals to strengthen the blockades.

      Mayor of Mytilene, Stratis Kytelis has been reiterating that he does not accept the reopening of Moria, the establishment creation of any other accommodation structure, even a temporary one.

      He demands “the immediate refugees’ and migrants’ departure from the island in any way.”

      “We have been insisting for a long time that there should be an immediate and massive de-congestion of the camp. It is not possible for a structure designed for 2,800 people to accommodate 12,000 people,” he repeated.

      406 minors relocated to northern Greece

      With three separate flights, 406 unaccompanied refugee children were transferred from the destroyed Moria center to Thessaloniki over night.

      The children are temporary accommodated in hotels. Some of them will be transferred to other structures and some will be relocated to European countries in accordance with the relevant program.

      Before their departure form Lesvos, all minors were tested for Covid-19. For precautionary reasons, they ill stay in quarantine for 10 days. facilities in which they will be housed will be quarantined for 10 days.

      The flights were organized by the International Organization for Migration, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Special Secretariat for Unaccompanied Minors at the Ministry of Migration.

      Gov’t housing plan about to fail

      The ferry donated by the shipping company Blue Star Ferries for the accommodation of some 1,000 vulnerable groups docked at the port of Sigri and not at the port of Mytilene on Thursday morning. Immediately locals called for a blockade of the road.

      The two Navy landing ships for the temporary accommodation of another 1,000 vulnerable people may never come. The Defense ministry has allegedly refused to deploy them amid a Greek standoff with Turkey.

      The government is in an extreme difficult situation and is looking for other solutions.

      The Migration Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that “all the necessary actions for the immediate housing of vulnerable people and families of the Moria hotspot in specially designed areas will be carried out within the day.”, a migration and asylum ministry announcement said on Thursday.

      “The primary concern of the government is the safety of all concerned,” the announcement added, and concluded that “Behavior aiming to blackmail will not be tolerated.”

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/10/moria-greece-refugees-locals-new-fires-housing

    • Incendies à Lesbos : « Nous créons une zone de guerre au milieu de l’Europe »

      #Efi_Latsoudi s’insurge contre le gouvernement grec, la situation dans le camp de Moria étant prévisible selon elle. L’humanitaire appelle à une réaction de la communauté internationale.

      Le camp de Moria, à Lesbos, a été en grande partie détruit par un incendie dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi. Efi Latsoudi, figure de proue de l’aide humanitaire sur l’île et lauréate du prix humanitaire Nansen Refugee Award 2016 du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), craint que la situation des 13 000 candidats à l’asile qui y vivaient se dégrade.
      L’incendie qui ravage Moria était-il prévisible ?

      Il fallait s’y attendre. Politiquement, on se dirigeait vers ça. On opérait sans plan d’action depuis des mois. Le gouvernement grec présente la situation migratoire dans les camps comme une réussite depuis que les chiffres d’arrivées sur les îles sont en baisse. Mais les conditions de vie des migrants sont toujours aussi désastreuses. Elles ne sont que les conséquences des politiques mises en place par Athènes.
      Vous êtes actuellement à Lesbos. Que s’est-il passé hier soir ?

      C’était la guerre. Il y a eu des manifestations de migrants dans le camp en réaction au confinement total, la police a usé de gaz lacrymogène. On s’attendait à de tels mouvements de contestation : voilà six mois que les forces de l’ordre ont enfermé ces gens dans ce camp. C’est de la discrimination ! Pour essayer de protéger les mineurs face aux manifestations, ils ont été placés dans une partie isolée du camp. Et quand le feu s’est déclaré [les causes de l’incendie ne sont pas encore clairement connues, ndlr], personne n’arrivait à les sortir de là. La porte a dû être défoncée pour les évacuer.
      Comment se présente la situation au lendemain du drame ?

      Les migrants sont encerclés par les policiers sur la route qui va de Moria à la ville. Ils sont dehors, sans rien. Les autorités sont en train d’acheminer trois troupes de policiers antiémeutes d’Athènes en bateau. Le ministre a parlé des émeutes, on craint que ces événements le poussent à créer des camps totalement fermés. Il y a aussi beaucoup de réactions de la part des groupes fascistes, qui pensent que Moria est une « bombe sanitaire » [35 cas de Covid-19 ont officiellement été déclarés à Moria, ndlr] alors qu’il y a plus de contaminations au sein de la population locale que chez les migrants. Certains médias enveniment la situation. Nous sommes en train de créer une zone de guerre au milieu de l’Europe.
      Comment imaginez-vous les prochains jours ?

      Tout le monde va envoyer de l’argent et des ressources sans aucune organisation. La situation ne va pas s’améliorer et tout cela ira alimenter la rhétorique des fascistes. Nous ferons au mieux pour aider les migrants. S’il n’y a pas de réaction de la part de la communauté internationale, la population locale et les groupes xénophobes vont nous tomber dessus.

      A lire aussiLesbos, le confinement sans fin

      Le gouvernement ne considère à aucun instant que la situation puisse être le résultat de sa politique. Il a pointé du doigt les ONG internationales : c’est hypocrite. Toute l’organisation des camps comme celui de Moria ne tient que grâce aux humanitaires. Les vrais victimes de ces drames à répétition, ce sont les migrants psychologiquement traumatisés et qui ne se sentent plus humains.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/09/incendies-a-lesbos-nous-creons-une-zone-de-guerre-au-milieu-de-l-europe_1

    • Four face criminal charges over Moria blaze, two minors to return to Lesvos

      Four Afghan migrants linked to the catastrophic fires that razed the Moria reception center on Lesvos last week were charged on Wednesday with arson and membership of a criminal organization and given until Saturday to prepare their defense before an investigating magistrate.

      Another two Afghans implicated in the same incident, both unaccompanied minors who were transferred to the mainland the day after the first blaze, are to return to Lesvos where they are to face a magistrate on Monday.

      The six suspects were identified on video footage of the fires that circulated on social media.

      Meanwhile most of the 13 suspects detained in connection with a fire that broke out late on Tuesday near a migrant reception center on Samos have been released due to a lack of evidence linking them to the blaze, which was extinguished before it could affect the camp.

      On Wednesday, 20 officers who are to form part of a special police service on Lesvos for a temporary camp that has been set up there arrived on the island. Although the new camp has the capacity to host up to 8,000 people, only around 1,200 had moved in by Wednesday night.

      Thousands of former Moria residents continued to sleep on the streets and in olive groves on Wednesday.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257058/article/ekathimerini/news/four-face-criminal-charges-over-moria-blaze-two-minors-to-return-to-le

    • Communique from the Working Group mobilisation on 45th Session of the PPT

      MORIA burns, again. This documented horror in the heart of Europe, has been denounced from its beginning (2015) by dozens of reports from human rights, humanitarian and other non-governmental organisations. Almost 20,000 (at peak last February) and at the time of the fire, 13,000 human beings were parked in a prison of mud, rubbish and violence, behind barbed wire. MORIA is a planned limbo, where refugees are being denied their right to asylum, freedom and dignity, unable to perform even the most basic daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or communicating. It was a place where health care and education were denied to 4,000 children – left without dreams; adolescents whom the abnormal rates of suicide attempts should have been an alert of the level of despair in the camp (MSF); women terrorized by daily rapes, lack of hygiene and rampant violence. Hundreds of testimonies revealing the levels of unbearable “non-life” in MORIA, were kept unheard for years.

      Now the fenced camp, which was about to be closed, has burned to the ground. But how could this construction – the abandonment of human beings reduced to “numbers and bodies” – re-emerge as an island-lager in the heart of 20th Century Europe? How has this apartheid andsuffering as planned management of the “other”, of the “migrant” been accepted and tolerated in the long silence of 5 years? This inhumane “containment” had been erected as a model for migration policies by the European Commission and the EU Member States. MORIA has been the essence of the deterrence model aimed at discouraging the flight of potential asylum seekers from countries at war and to push them back to the ruins, sealed by the EU-Turkey agreement in 2016. It is documented that on Greek islands, the Geneva Convention was being constantly violated on a daily basis. Has it been buried in Lesbos?

      The most disturbing reality of all is that MORIA is not exceptional – but part of a chain of Camps and Hotspots across Europe constructed as sites “without rights” and a systematic planned annihilation of the “other”, psychically destroyed in camps, where they could have even burned alive. The EU borders, as well as the maritime routes have also become sites of death where thousands have drowned. This situation is indicative of the overall policy of necropolitics practiced by the European Union and its member states towards migrant and refugee peoples and is combined with the policy of militarised externalisation of borders. And inside the Fortress Europe – as is graphically shown in this time of COVID-19 – the migrant workers who make up a big part of the “essential workers’ in agriculture, care and domestic work – are also denied fundamental rights, subjected to daily racism and deprived of the conditions to live a decent human life.

      As part of that Europe that still recognizes itself first of all as “human”, and joining all the movements that in these hours are making their voice heard, we, the signatories, who have been witnessing for years the tragic fate of the migrant and refugee peoples, denounce even more the fire of MORIA as a symbolic and highly visible expression of the silent, permanent, planned crime against humanity for which the European Commission the European States are responsible, as highlighted by the Permanent People’s Tribunal sentence (Hearings 2017-2019). The humanitarian interventions of these hours – already minimal in itself – can only appear as a saving face operation. Once again these pronouncements refer to a time without deadlines, and therefore confirm the existing genocidal policy – as the European Commission, and the EU governments, opt for an identity that declares itself exempt from the obligations of the civilization of law. These obligations were meant to be consistent with the ‘never again’ commitment against the extermination camps and had made Europe a place of welcome and an indicator of its own development project.

      We therefore call on the EC and all the European States:

      To urgently evacuate the island and re-locate to safety and dignity the MORIA migrant and refugee peoples.
      To end the criminalisation of migrants and refugees and the criminalisation of solidarity.

      It is Not a Crime to Migrate or to seek Asylum! It is a Human Right!

      September 14, 2020
      The movements & oganisations convening the 45th PPT Migrant & Refugee Session

      https://transnationalmigrantplatform.net/campaigns-advocacy

    • Questions arise as Greece vows to “empty Lesvos of all refugees by Easter”

      Questions arise as Greece’s Citizens Protection Minister has vowed to empty the island of Lesvos of all refugees by Easter.One main question is, of course, that if all 12,000 refugees leave in the next 6 months, why does Greece build a permanent camp on the island, expected to be in operation until 2025 and it looks as if it is going to be “the largest in Greece” if not in the whole European Union? Where will these 12,000 people stay when they leave Lesvos? How about the refugees and asylum-seekers in overcrowded camps on other islands? At the same time, it looks as if the hastily set up temporary camp in Kara Tepe, hastily due to the Moria fires, is violating rules of constructions and other issues.

      In an exclusive interview with UK’s daily The Guardian, Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said following the fires that destroyed the overcrowded Moria camp last week, that plans would be accelerated to decongest the outpost.
      Minister: Lesvos will be empty of all refugees by Easter”

      “They will all leave,” Citizens protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told UK’s daily the Guardian on Tuesday. “Of the roughly 12,000 refugees here currently, I foresee 6,000 being transferred to the mainland by Christmas and the rest by Easter. The people of this island have gone through a lot. They’ve been very patient.”

      About 70% of asylum seekers on the island were Afghans who would be awarded refugee status and given travel papers, he said. Recognised refugees can move to another EU member state for up to three months using the documents.

      Chrysochoidis, who flew into Lesbos to help oversee relief efforts, welcomed reports that Germany was prepared to take in as many as 1,500 people from Moria.

      “It’s very generous, very brave,” Chrysochoidis said of the goodwill gesture. “All over Europe, countries have their own internal political problems around this issue but I also think they [EU states] can see we are protecting the bloc’s borders, we have greatly minimised flows.”

      On the problem that stranded refugees and asylum-seekers refuse to settle in the new temporary tents camp in Kara Tepe, Chrysochoidis blamed Afghan asylum-seekers and even some NGOs.

      “There are groups of Afghans and I am afraid even some human rights organisations who are encouraging thousands of people not to go in,” said Chrysochoidis.

      “It’s non-negotiable. They will leave the island but they have to go through this new facility and get the requisite legal documents first,” the minister stressed speaking to the Guardian.

      If refugees go, why a permanent refugee camp?

      Of course, in order to have 6,000 refugees relocated to the mainland by Christmas, that is in 3 months, you have to have structures to host them. Where are they? Where are the government plans for them? And where will the remaining 6,000 people go “by Easter”? Most likely, they will also found themselves on the mainland – because so far, the famous “EU solidarity” was never strong enough to take some burden from Greece’s shoulders – and neither will it be, I’m afraid.

      And how about the refugees and asylum-seekers in the overcrowded camps on the islands like Samos and Chios and Kos? Will they be transferred to the new camp on the island where “the people have gone through a lot and have be very patient,” as the Minister said?

      Minister Chrysochoidis and the government is general is proud to have minimized the refugees flows – even though often with questionable means such as “pushbacks” that are illegal.

      So the question that arises is near: If the plan is to have all 12,000 refugees relocated away from Lesvos within the next six months, then why does Greece build a new permanent camp –the largest in the EU! – on the island of Lesvos and thus with the assistance of the European Commission?

      Will the new camp host refugees currently on the other islands and also display Greece’s readiness should an influx turn into a problem again?

      President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday during her speech at the European Palriament speech that “the Commission is now working on a plan, for a joint plan with the Greek authorities for a new camp in Lesvos. We can help with asylum and return procedures and significantly improve conditions for refugees.”

      Permanent camp until 2025

      With two decisions on September 14, the Ministry for Migration and Asylum has secured the amount for the lease of land plots on Lesvos for the permanent camp until 2025.

      According to an exclusive report by local media stonisi, the Ministry uploaded on state website for public expenditures Diavgeia, the amounts needed to be paid for the lease from September 2020 until 31. December 2025. The total price to be paid is 2.9 million euros.

      €142,051 for the lease of the land plots for the operation of the temporary camp in Kara Tepe until 31. December 2020.

      €2,750,000 (550,000 euros per year) for the lease of the same land plots in Kara Tepe from 2021 until 2025.

      According to the exclusive story, the size of the whole area, extending over several hundreds of acres and including the area of ​​the Ministry of National Defense [the firing range where the temporary camp is], shows the new refugee center will be much larger than that of Moria, the largest in Greece and in the whole European Union.”

      The camp will be in direct contact with residential areas and many dozens of businesses, a few hundred meters from the village of Panagiouda, the news website notes.

      Camp set up without necessary approvals

      At he same time, regarding the temporary camp, the Technical Chamber of Northern Aegean region (TEE) denounces “massive arbitrariness” and violations of construction and others laws.

      The Mavrovouni Firing Range (Kara Tepe) for the temporary settlement of refugees and immigrants belong to the Ministry of Defense but not the coastline and the shore lines, the TEE says among others..

      In an announcement, the TEE says that the concession of the area for a camp needed approval by Environmental services, by the Marine Antiquities Authority, the Forest Service and General Staff of the Navy as well as some other departments of the state.

      The TEE raises the issue of the “highest National Security” and of the “defense of the island” that is closed to the Turkish coast.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/16/greece-refugees-lesvos-permanent-camp

    • Greece vows to empty Lesbos of all refugees by Easter after fire

      Exclusive: minister says island ‘has been through a lot’ as he welcomes new German offer.

      The island of Lesbos will be emptied of refugees by next Easter, the Greek government has vowed, as it welcomed Germany’s offer to take in 1,500 people left without shelter.

      Following the devastating fires that destroyed the notoriously overcrowded Moria facility last week, Greece’s top public order official said plans would be accelerated to decongest the outpost.

      “They will all leave,” the civil protection minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis, told the Guardian. “Of the roughly 12,000 refugees here currently, I foresee 6,000 being transferred to the mainland by Christmas and the rest by Easter. The people of this island have gone through a lot. They’ve been very patient.”

      About 70% of asylum seekers on Lesbos were Afghans who would be awarded refugee status and given travel papers, he said. Recognised refugees can move to another EU member state for up to three months using the documents.

      Greek police detained five people on Tuesday in connection with the blazes at the camp, and are searching for one other. No more details were given but from the outset officials have attributed the fires to camp residents pressuring authorities to leave.

      Chrysochoidis, who flew into Lesbos to help oversee relief efforts, welcomed reports that Germany was prepared to take in as many as 1,500 people from Moria.

      The German coalition government on Tuesday agreed to take in a total of 1,553 people from 408 families whose protected status has been confirmed by Greek authorities, Angela Merkel’s spokesperson said.

      Last Friday, Germany said it would take up to 150 out of approximately 400 unaccompanied minors from the camp, where more than 12,000 people were left homeless by the fire in the early hours of 9 September.

      “It’s very generous, very brave,” Chrysochoidis said of the goodwill gesture. “All over Europe, countries have their own internal political problems around this issue but I also think they [EU states] can see we are protecting the bloc’s borders, we have greatly minimised flows.”

      Merkel insisted on Monday any transfer of migrants to Germany would need to go hand-in-hand with a broader European initiative, emphasising her support for Greek plans for a new reception centre on Lesbos.

      Apart from Luxembourg, no other country has so far showed a willingness to partake in a pan-European solution to the crisis in Moria.

      Some countries, such as Austria, have categorically rejected taking in people from the destroyed camp. “If we give in to this pressure now, then we risk making the same mistake we made in 2015,” said chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, referring to Merkel’s decision to take in large numbers of refugees five years ago.

      Germany’s leader faces domestic pressure from two sides on the issue. Members of her own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have warned that any resettlement programme must be carried out in a way as to avoid chaotic scenes akin to those at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. “We must not go alone,” said CDU delegate Mathias Middelberg.

      From the other side, Merkel faces calls from her coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD), and a number of federal states and city mayors across Germany for Europe’s largest economy to step up its humanitarian efforts.

      The leadership of the SPD, which will need to approve Merkel and Seehofer’s decision, has pressured its senior coalition to take in more than 5,000 people to alleviate the situation in Greece.

      German calls for resettlement schemes have until now also faced resistance from Greece, where prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, accused some residents of Moria for trying to blackmail his government by deliberately setting the fires that destroyed their camp.

      Chrysochoidis insisted it was crucial Moria’s erstwhile occupants move into a temporary camp, close to Mytilene, the island’s port capital, that the government, with the aid of the army had rushed to build. Opposition is such that seven days after the first blaze, only 1,000 had so far agreed to enter the new facility.

      Athens’ centre-right government has enlisted NGOs and distributed multi-lingual notices in a bid to encourage relocation, saying the new site provides a safe place for asylum seekers to complete applications. Many have denounced the facility as “a new Moria, another prison.”

      As tensions mounted, the Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi alluded to the possible use of force if the displaced migrants refused to go voluntarily.

      Nine riot police units and water cannon have been dispatched to the island. “If this is not possible through discussion, then the police will have to be used,” he told Mega TV. “It is their obligation to move to the new site,” he said acknowledging for the first time that families would likely spend the winter in tents.

      The Greek government has pledged to build a new structure on the island that will be co-managed by EU agencies but says construction of the camp in a place that has yet to be decided will require at least six months.

      Concerns over Covid-19 – more than 21 asylum seekers since the fires have tested positive for the virus in addition to 35 who were diagnosed with it before – have made resettlement even more pressing.

      Close to 12,500 men, women and children have been living out in the open, often in makeshift tents of tarps and bamboo reeds. Some 406 lone migrant children, also in the camp, were flown to the mainland immediately before continuing on to European states that have agreed to accept them.

      “There are groups of Afghans and I am afraid even some human rights organisations who are encouraging thousands of people not to go in,” said Chrysochoidis, who is seen as the face of the centre-right government’s tough public order policies. “It’s non-negotiable. They will leave the island but they have to go through this new facility and get the requisite legal documents first.”

      Efforts will be launched in the coming days to clear the charred remains of what had once been Europe’s largest refugee camp. Designed to host no more than 3,000, Moria accommodated almost 10 times that number at its height and was regularly condemned by aid groups for its deplorable conditions.

      “It was a camp of shame,” the politician admitted, denying that the government was also forcibly pushing back other refugees who were trying to get to Greece . “Now it belongs to history. It will be cleared up and replaced by olive groves.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/15/after-fire-greece-vows-to-empty-lesbos-of-all-refugees-by-easter

    • Six arrested over Lesvos camp blaze

      Greek police have detained six migrants over a fire that razed the Moria refugee camp to the ground, the government said on Tuesday, as thousands of displaced people refused to move to a new facility and demanded to leave Lesbos island.

      More than 12,000 people, mostly refugees from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria, were left without shelter, proper sanitation or access to food and water after a fire tore through the overcrowded Moria migrant camp last Wednesday.

      Greek authorities believe the fire was deliberately lit by camp occupants after quarantine measures were imposed following the discovery of COVID cases on the site, but the incident has put the migrant issue firmly back on the European agenda.

      Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated a call for more help from the European Union, which has struggled to find a unified approach to the migrant crisis at its borders, saying it was time for “tangible solidarity” from Europe.

      European Council President Charles Michel who visited Lesbos said the challenge was European not just Greek and urged for more commitment by EU members for a new migration policy to be effective.

      “This is difficult, a very complex situation, but on behalf of the European Union, I would want to say that I refuse to paper over this migration challenge. This is a common European challenge,” Michel said.

      Government officials in Berlin said Germany could take in up to 1,500 people stranded by the fire, in addition to 100-150 Berlin has already agreed to take in. But a wider solution has remained elusive.

      Mitsotakis said a permanent new reception facility would be built on Lesbos with EU support and that the notoriously overcrowded and squalid Moria camp “belongs to the past”.

      On the ground in Lesbos, however, thousands, including children, were still sleeping rough a week after the blaze.

      Officials were struggling to overcome resistance from migrants hoping to be allowed to leave the island who fear that life in temporary shelters being erected would be no better than the conditions they endured in Moria.

      Migrants wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus queued outside the camp gates to receive water, food and blankets from aid workers. The task was complicated by the need for COVID-19 tests, with at least 25 positive cases found among the displaced.

      “The big concern is that even though many thousands of places are available and will continue to be expanded, there are still less than 1,000 that have been occupied,” said Luciano Calestini, head of the Greece office of the United Nations childrens organisation UNICEF.

      Only a few hundred migrants, mainly unaccompanied minors, have been moved off Lesbos. Greek officials have said there will be no mass transfers and all asylum seekers will have to go into the new shelter.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257005/article/ekathimerini/news/six-arrested-over-lesvos-camp-blaze

      #arrestation

    • Reportage : une semaine après l’incendie de Moria, les migrants vivent toujours dans l’enfer de la rue

      Depuis une semaine, les quelque 13 000 personnes qui ont fui les incendies du camp de Moria, sur l’île de Lesbos, dorment à la rue. Au bord de la route de Mytilène, elles n’ont ni eau, ni nourriture, ni couverture.

      Il est environ 15h, le soleil écrase de toutes ses forces le camp qui s’est formé le long de la route qui mène de Moria à Mytilène, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Soudainement, des centaines de personnes cessent leurs activités, quittent leur abri et forment, en l’espace de quelques secondes, une queue qui s’étend à perte de vue. Au bout de la file, des bénévoles d’un collectif d’ONG débutent une distribution de nourriture.

      Treize mille repas vont être servis. Il risque de ne pas y en avoir pour tout le monde. « Les distributions n’ont lieu qu’une fois par jour et pour avoir à manger, il faut être costaud. Il y a un problème d’organisation », déplore Michaël, originaire de République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

      Lundi 14 septembre, sur la route de Mytilène, les migrants ont faim depuis près d’une semaine. Lorsque les résidents de Moria ont fui les flammes qui ont dévoré le camp dans la nuit du 8 au 9 septembre et qu’ils ont été bloqués par la police sur cette route, certains ont pu acheter de quoi manger au grand magasin Lidl, en bord de mer.

      Mais les policiers ont rapidement exigé du gérant qu’il tire le rideau. Les stations services ont fermé, elles aussi, ainsi que tous les autres commerces le long de cette route qui mène au centre-ville de Mytilène.

      Pour se nourrir, certains rescapés de Moria demandent à d’autres migrants qui vivent dans Mytilène de leur acheter de la nourriture et de la leur apporter au camp informel qui a vu le jour. D’autres ont réussi à sauver des flammes quelques aliments qu’ils avaient achetés à Moria, souvent des paquets de pâtes.

      Gertrude et Naomi préparent un plat de légumes dans une grande marmite posée sur un feu. Ces deux Congolaises ont tenté quelques fois de récupérer de la nourriture lors des distributions mais être servi relève du combat. « Pour avoir de la nourriture, il faut se bagarrer », affirme Naomi.
      « Aidez-nous ! »

      Assises sur une grande couverture grise flanquée du logo du HCR, deux jeunes Afghanes qui s’appellent toutes les deux Zahra donnent le biberon à leurs bébés de 5 et 7 mois. « On a ramené le lait de Moria », explique l’une d’elles, en brandissant un petit sac en plastique à moitié rempli de lait en poudre.

      Les deux jeunes mères manquent de nourriture et d’eau ainsi que de vêtements pour leurs enfants. C’est ce que dit aussi une autre jeune Afghane en montrant le foulard dans lequel elle a dû emmailloter sa fille de quelques mois. « Aidez-nous ! », supplie-t-elle.

      Le seul point d’eau du camp improvisé se trouve à quelques dizaines de mètres de là et n’a rien d’officiel. Dans une rue qui remonte vers les oliveraies, les tuyaux destinés à l’irrigation ont été percés. Autour de chaque trou, plusieurs personnes se pressent pour remplir des bouteilles vides, laver un vêtement ou se rincer le visage. L’eau ruisselle en permanence dans la petite rue en pente et charrie des ordures.

      Couvertures et sacs de couchage sont également très recherchés sur le camp car les nuits sont déjà fraîches. Michaël n’a que son sweat-shirt bleu pour dormir. Le Congolais guette la route car il a entendu dire que des bénévoles distribuaient quelques sacs de couchage dans le camp. Mais tellement de personnes en manquent qu’il n’y en a sûrement déjà plus. Cependant, « ce qui nous préoccupe le plus c’est de ne pas pouvoir se doucher et aller aux toilettes », explique Michaël.

      Le seul moyen de se laver, c’est d’aller dans la mer. La plage n’est qu’à quelques minutes de marche du parking Lidl. Michaël aimerait aller se laver mais il n’a pas de savon.
      Un tiers d’enfants

      Cet après-midi, des dizaines d’enfants jouent dans la mer. La chaleur étouffante a aussi poussé quelques adultes à se mettre à l’eau.

      Azim shampouine énergiquement la tête de son fils Moustapha, 3 ans, pendant que sa fille Rokhoya rayonne de bonheur en barbotant autour de lui. Après cinq mois de confinement dans le camp de Moria, c’est la première fois qu’ils peuvent approcher la mer.

      Le camp compte plus de 4 000 enfants, selon l’Unicef, soit un tiers des migrants de Lesbos. À la nuit tombée, quand les bruits des machines de chantier qui construisent le camp provisoire sur un terrain militaire en bord de mer se taisent, on n’entend plus que les cris des enfants qui jouent. Le parking du Lidl prend des airs de cour de récréation.

      Les parents s’inquiètent de voir leurs enfants ne pas aller à l’école. La vie dans les conditions indignes du camp de Moria, puis au bord de cette route, pourrait aussi avoir des conséquences psychologiques à long terme sur ces enfants, met en garde Dimitra Chasioti, psychologue pour Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

      L’environnement dans lequel ils ont grandi pourrait affecter « la manière dont ils gèrent les difficultés mais aussi leurs interactions avec les autres », décrit-elle devant la clinique mobile installée par l’ONG à deux pas des tentes.

      Parmi les adultes, c’est l’angoisse de ne pas avoir d’information sur leur avenir – et notamment sur le nouveau camp provisoire en construction - qui est le plus difficile à gérer.

      Dimanche matin, Notis Mitarachi, le ministre grec de la Migration a déclaré que « tous les demandeurs d’asile y seraient transférés ». Selon son ministère, quelque 800 exilés sont désormais logés dans ce camp temporaire, fermé à la presse. L’AFP a recueilli des témoignages de personnes à l’intérieur qui ont affirmé n’avoir ni douche, ni matelas.

      Naomi semble aussi terrifiée à l’idée d’aller dans ce nouveau camp que de rester à la rue. Cette mère d’une fille de 5 ans et d’un garçon de 7 mois interroge : « Comment est le camp là-bas ? Est-ce que nous devrions y aller ? »

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27269/reportage-une-semaine-apres-l-incendie-de-moria-les-migrants-vivent-to

    • Une intervention intéressante sur Lesbos de la présidente de la Commission européenne ainsi que de la chancelière allemande en réponse aux journalistes lors d’une conférence de presse portant initialement sur un sommet UE-Chine...il faut vraiment faire du suivi sur tout pour avoir les informations ! 😉

      La chancelière a eu une parole que je trouve politiquement extrêmement forte en disant la chose suivante : « la #concentration des nombres n’est pas la bonne approche ». Ce qui est remarquable c’est qu’elle a parlé en allemand, et qu’elle a utilisé le mot « #Konzentration » ("Ich glaube, dass die Konzentration auf einer Zahl der falsche Ansatz ist"). Cette phrase porte en elle quelque chose de très fort que Migreurop dénonce depuis sa fondation, l’#encampement, la stratégie des #nasses. Ce genre de #terminologie reste, en allemand, évidemment très délicat vu l’usage du terme par le régime nazi, et je doute fort que l’on puisse imaginer la chancelière d’avoir omis cet élément l’espace d’un instant. Je pencherais plutôt pour une remarque volontaire, appelant les choses par leur nom. Nos ami.es allemand.es sur cette liste auront peut-être une autre lecture, je serais heureuse de les lire à ce sujet.

      Cela n’empêchera, en suite de cette intervention, ni la chancelière, ni la présidente de la Commission européenne, de justifier de la création à venir d’un « #centre_d'accueil_européen » géré par les agences européennes et les autorités grecques en lieu et place des #hotspots actuels en Grèce (un « projet pilote » selon Van der Layen)...Ce qui finalement correspondait au plan initial comme le dénonce Migreurop depuis le départ.

      Vidéo à partir de la minute 25 et 50 secondes (question du journaliste) : prise de parole #Merkel puis #Van_der_Layen. tout est doublé en anglais
      https://www.euronews.com/2020/09/14/watch-live-eu-chiefs-update-on-summit-with-china

      Message de Marie Martin reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 15.09.2020

      #Angela_Merkel

    • For many migrants, the dream of freedom ends in Lesbos

      After the devastating fires in the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos, Muhammad spent days on a sealed-off section of road with thousands of others. His most fervent wish is to leave the island, as DW’s Max Zander reports.

      “We had some hope, but we have lost it. We thought the government would take us to Athens now,” says Muhammad Sator Massi. Muhammad, who is 19, is sitting alone on a curb in the blazing sun, looking down at the ground in resignation.

      Near him, Greek garbage collectors are at work, loading one blue garbage bag after the other onto their truck with a crane. Today, they have started getting rid of the traces left by the past week. The road leading from Lesbos’ capital, Mytilene, past the Moria migrant camp is littered with plastic bottles, packaging and the remnants of temporary shelters. The bushes at the side are full of rubbish. Even though the sea is just a few steps away, there is a terrible stench.

      Muhammad has fled from Afghanistan with his aunt and uncle and their six children. They have already been on Lesbos for nine months. He says that it has been a terrible time that has left deep marks on him. After the fires last week, he set off for the capital with the other camp residents. Police stopped them and sealed off the section of road they were on. Muhammad and his family were among those forced to sleep in the open air, some on cardboard cartons on the bare ground.

      They spent more than a week under these conditions, then the police began clearing the improvised camp bit by bit. This morning, they arrived at Muhammad’s tent. The family was eating at the time, he says. A police officer threw their belongings all over the place and yelled at them, then began demolishing their shelter, Muhammad says.

      Doubtful about conditions in the new camp

      Now there is a new camp, called Kara Tepe. “They are forcing us to go there. We don’t have a choice. I don’t think it will be better than Moria; it will just be a repeat,” says Muhammad.

      Like most people here, he is afraid that the conditions there will be just as unbearable or even more so than in Moria: thousands of people in a confined space without enough toilets and showers, too little to eat, barely any medical care and violence every night.

      A spokesman for the Greek Migration Ministry insists that the conditions in the new camp are good, with toilets, running water and electricity. And he says its capacities are being expanded.

      But people who are already in the camp have reported the opposite, saying that there are far too few toilets, meals just once a day and no mattresses or blankets in the big white tents provided by the UNHCR and the Red Cross. Many are also worried because the camp, set up in haste on a former army drill ground, is likely to be situated on soil full of toxic substances and munitions. While it was being constructed, soldiers with metal detectors could be seen searching the area around the tents. But the Migration Ministry spokesman declares that “everything is safe.”

      For refugees like Muhammad, the biggest problem is the uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to leave the camp later. Greek officials have announced that it is initially to be put under quarantine, after more than 200 cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the past few days. After two weeks, residents will be allowed to leave the camp during the day, they say. But that is not certain, and Muhammad and others are worried.

      “We came here looking for protection. We aren’t prisoners. I have been on Lesbos, in Moria, for a year. I can’t bear it any longer,” he says.

      Lost time

      Muhammad slowly gets up, because he wants to go down the road to his aunt’s family and register in the new camp with them. He seems tired and worn out. The road around him is almost deserted. Apart from the Greek garbage collectors, only a few people occasionally come by: a family from Afghanistan laden with plastic bags, a young man from Congo carrying an old, dirty tent. Muhammad sets off in the same direction and walks slowly toward the new camp.

      He is smoking a cigarette. “I never used to do that; I was sporty and kept away from people who smoke. But now it calms me down,” he says.

      He says he has changed a lot in the time here and that he is mentally exhausted. “We are losing a part of our lives here. It doesn’t feel as if we are alive,” he says while going past a police bus.

      In Afghanistan, he was well-off financially, he says. His father is a member of the provincial council in Wardak province and owns a water company. His family had money but no security. One day, Muhammad recounts, he was on his way home from school when he was stopped by some men in a car. They said they were friends of his father and asked him to get in. When he refused, they tried to drag him into the car, but he was able to pull free and run away. “When you go to school, you don’t know if you will come home alive,” he says.

      He decided to flee to Europe with his aunt. But he has given up hopes of starting a new life here, perhaps in Germany. He wanted to learn the language, study medicine and play football, his great passion.

      Rather be deported than be a prisoner

      By now, Muhammad has arrived at the new camp. Next to the road, there are groups, mostly of men, sitting and waiting in the shade of low bushes. For the moment, only families are being allowed to join the queue before the entrance. They are standing tightly packed. The police, equipped with protective clothing and masks, keep at a distance. Each person is registered and given a coronavirus test.

      Muhammad said earlier on that he would rather be deported back to Afghanistan and die there than go to this prison. But now he has no choice. He sees his aunt standing at the front of the queue. Slowly, his head bowed, Muhammad pushes his way past the other families and disappears in the crowd.

      https://www.dw.com/en/for-many-migrants-the-dream-of-freedom-ends-in-lesbos/a-54989158?maca=en-rss_top_news-13961-xml-mrss

  • Second hunger strike in #Moria detention centre this year

    On 26 August 2020, about 60 mostly Arabic-speaking detainees in Moria pre-removal detention centre (#PRO.KE.K.A) went on hunger strike. Since 5 March, Greece has been unable to carry out deportations to Turkey as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Detainees have been deprived of freedom for 174 days during which deportation – the only reason for their confinement – has been impossible. They are locked up without justification in conditions designed to drive them to despair.

    From 5 to 8 April this year, detainees attempted to hunger strike. Their protest ended after a special police unit interrogated the strikers, beating a number of them. What happened during those days is still unclear; many could not speak openly of conditions during these days for fear that conditions would be made worse.

    Many believe now that they have no chance of escape but that which they take for themselves. Suicide attempts are an almost weekly occurrence. On 6 January, a 31-year-old Iranian detainee took his own life after being held in isolation and denied access to psychosocial care. His death prompted a criminal investigation into staff and services at the facility.

    Yet despite this, a structure and culture of impunity has allowed the cycle of violence to continue. Beatings – sometimes verging on torture – have become routine, and those who speak out are threatened with violent reprisal. The link between detainees and the outside world is tethered to services operating under a culture of camaraderie between prison officer and medic, lawyer, psychologist, creating a closed rank between detainees and the public prosecutor.

    These abuses vanish under the code of silence that governs PRO.KE.K.A. The hunger strikers have chosen to break this silence.

    https://dm-aegean.bordermonitoring.eu/2020/08/26/second-hunger-strike-in-moria-detention-centre-this-year
    #Lesbos #hotspot #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #hotspots #PROKEKA