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Press Release: Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants

Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants

The recent tragedies in Lampedusa have highlighted, once again, the prevailing indifference of the EU toward the fate of migrants. At the gates of Europe, in Italy as well as on the Greek islands, migrants are subjected to arbitrary and dangerous border controls and security measures that put their lives at risk.

In the last days more than 80 migrants succeeded in reaching the island of Lesvos despite the numerous illegal push backs that take place in the Aegean Sea. These women, children, and men, fleeing war-torn countries, dictatorial regimes or unsustainable socio-economic conditions, are subjected to violence and the indifference of the Greek and European authorities. In absence of any clear regulation, police and coast guard authorities keep the migrants who survive the dangerous sea crossing in a legal limbo, without any form of protection, care, and information.

Migrants who arrive on the island of Lesvos have to be registered in order to be able to leave the island. However, this registration is currently only happening after having been arrested and detained in a newly constructed detention facility near the village of Moria. Opened on the 25th of September 2013, the detention centre is officially described as a “first reception centre” but is de facto a closed camp, surrounded by fences and barbed wire. In the end it shall provide also about 600 places for longterm detention. The local police, assisted by the European agency Frontex, is responsible for identifying migrants, trying to obtain information concerning migration patterns. These procedures are not meant to offer protection for migrants but instead constitute strategies for further control, surveillance and deterrence. Applying for asylum is currently impossible. Continue reading Press Release: Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants