LESVOS: Again 50 refugees in PIKPA self-organised reception camp

As refugees continue to arrive on Lesvos island the network “village of all together” has transferred again almost 50 persons to PIKPA self-organised and open reception camp.

On Saturday 2nd of February 2013, 26 refugees – mostly Afghans and Syrians – were transferred to PiKPA. They were detained more than a week in the police station of Mytilene under very bad conditions.

“We couldn’t even lie down,”

some of them said. Upon release they received a deportation order (so called “White Paper” valid for 30 days) by the police and found themselves homeless on the streets since the strike of the seafarers had paralyzed the general ferry traffic between mainland and islands. The freed refugees were desperate not knowing where to go. As we had promised earlier this year as network “the village of all together” no refugee should stay anymore homeless and helpless in the streets. So we decided to take them to PIKPA.
On February 4th another 14 people were released from detention. We went to the police station and demanded them to be transferred directly to PIKPA. Today more refugees might be released and brought to PIKPA. We are preparing food for 50 persons today.

All of these people have suffered from the hazardous travel of the sea endangering their lives repeatedly to reach a safe haven in Europe. The strict controls on both sides of the Aegean, by Turkish Gendarmes and Greek Coast Guard / Frontex on the other side, make the border crossing a matter of life and death. At the same time weather conditions are creating additional dangers for the small, overcrowded and often insufficiently equipped dinghy boats. One of the refugees said:

“Three times we were caught by the Gendarmes. The fourth time we almost died in the huge waves.”

PIKPA is continuing and we need all your support!