Welcome to Europe and AlarmPhone Statement about the Situation on Lesvos Island / Greece
Refugees who survive the journey and succeed to cross the maritime border between Turkey and Greece in small and overcrowded plastic boats are subjected to the so-called EU ‘hotspot approach’ since its launch on Friday 16th of October 2015. As part of the European Agenda on Migration, hotspots are now being deployed by mobile teams of the European border agency Frontex to support so-called ‘frontline EU states’ in systematically identifying and screening travelers who ‘illegally’ entered EU territory. One of Frontex’ main tasks is to speed up the ‘return process’, thus the deportation of those who Frontex ‘identifies’ as not coming from a country of war and/or as not having valid grounds for asylum in Europe.
++Refugees left to survive in Moria under inhuman conditions++Vulnerable groups unprotected for days in war zone like areal++
2,500 persons can be registered daily in Moria according to local media, while more than 10,000 arrived within the last 24 hours. Refugees are queueing kilometers in and outside the registration camp that was originally constructed as a prison. At the same time the registration camp lacks any form of a functioning queuing system as well as dignified infrastructures and basic needs provision. Refugees are sitting and sleeping for hours between mud and garbage, being pushed by the crowd, insulted and beaten by police forces and sometimes even thrown tear gas. They get sick and injured under the life threatening living conditions in Moria.
“I am queueing since 10 days!,” a Syrian man says. “I am single, but my family is left in Syria and I have to get them out to save their lives. I am very anxious. In this camp the is no human rights. It is zero zero.”
There have been several articles in different in Greek and English language media about the “Welcome to Greece!” guide of our network. Most of them up to now have been denouncing and/or misinforming though. Mostly, journalists obviously didn’t even read the guide before writing about it. To avoid further misunderstandings leading to the defamation of the guide here are some explanations:
Some basic information: The guide „Welcome to Greece!“ (see: http://lesvos.w2eu.net/info-for-refugees/welcome-to-greece-guide/) exists in four languages, English, Arabic, Farsi, French. The first version was published in August 2014, an updated version in July 2015. It is produced by the network Welcome to Europe and it was mainly distributed during what we call the “Journeys back to the border”, when refugees who arrived via Greece in Europe go back every year to welcome those who arrive newly.
The guide is distributed for free and it can be downloaded on the website w2eu.info for free as well. We invite again all solidarity groups and structures to download it and reprint it. Many solidarity groups acting in Greece have already asked us to print and spread the guide or get already printed version for distribution as there is an immanent lack of information leading to a high degree of anxiety and stress among the newly arriving. Many people are distributing the guide currently belonging to different groups and their feedback is just: That more guides are needed!
It is one of the huge gaps in Greece during this current humanitarian crisis concerning the situation of refugees that they don’t have the information they need in order to understand their rights, possibilities and obligations in Greece and Europe as well as the situation and place they specifically find themselves in upon arrival. Our main aim is to inform the people and to give them as much space as possible to take their own decisions grounded on knowledge of the situation: against the deadly consequences of a migration regime that forces them to take these dangerous routes. With thousands of refugees arriving daily in Greece, the capacities of UNHCR, NGOs and solidarity groups are much too low as to provide each newcomer orally with basic information about their rights in their own language. Continue reading Welcome to Greece! – Some facts about the refugee’ guide of Welcome to Europe→
The new Minister for Immigration G.Mouzalas visited yesterday the Island of Lesvos.
inspecting the camps with thousands of people that are not yet registered.
After his visit he announced following changes:
After 2 weeks there will be 60 new people andnew computers working for the registration procedure.
Registration will take place in Kara Tepe and in Moria
The Ferry Eleftherios Venizelos will be coming only to Mitilini and will
be leaving as soon as all tickets are sold.
(yesterday people having tikets were stuck outside the Port and could
not enter the boat that was waiting to get full to leave.)
more MAT special police forces for Lesvos.
(there is money for police special forces but not money for enough
translators in Farsi and Arabic to communicate with the people so that
they are informed about what they are to expect )
the army will bake daily 1.500 breads to distribute and is willing to
give cars for transport.
the military spaces that are empty like in KLEIOU village will be opened
for newly arrived Refugees.
new registration place in another military space KOURTZI in the north of Mitilini.
in the meantime the streets are again full of newly arrived refugees, walking from the north of the island 70 km since the authorities have blocked the bus transports due to too many people concentrated inMitilini/Kara Tepe/Moria.
NO REGISTRATION at the moment at the PORT!
Around 20 000 Refugees are currently stuck on the Island of Lesvos.
Since one week, registration for new arriving refugees in Lesvos has become an obstacle to continue the procedures and leave the Island. Since Friday the situation in the Port of Mytilini has escalated.
Hundreds if not thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are caught in limbo. Every day they try to fight for a registration number in the port. Most of them try up to 10 days to get a registration number with no success, they are forced to camp around the port, the city or sleep rough. Their money has finished and they suffer from hunger and thirst. Desperate, if not in rage due to lacking infrastructures and the absence of any system, they break out in daily protest and not seldom fights. The state shows its presence in form of riot police, beating down men, women and children alike.
On Friday 4th of September hundreds of refugees tried to storm a ferry. The police threw tear gas.
In the following they banished all refugees from the port. Newspaper Article about police violence in the port.
On Saturday 5th of September the refugees self-organized a queue for the Registration – Numbers. While th refugees where peacefully waiting in their queue, the police beat them with batons.
In the late evening some young Syrians started a protest in the port shouting