Daily Update (17.09.20)
This will be the last of our daily updates from Lesvos for the moment but we will keep you all in touch with any significant new developments.
Key points from today (17.09.20):
1. Police enforcing move to a new camp
From early this morning police began to move people from the Kara Tepe area around Lidl where most have been sleeping out. The operation appears to have gone relatively calmly with few reports of major opposition or violence.
All foreign press were excluded from the zone.
There is some confusion as to whether single men are being admitted to the camp. Some claim they were denied entry, others suggest entry may be denied to those who already have refugee status or have been refused asylum
Both locals and camp residents fear ‘a new Moria’. One young man expressed his worry about another long wait in the asylum queue, saying “I’m losing my youth just waiting.”
Last night, MSF was banned from accessing their emergency clinic in the area. They denounced this, stating that a police operation should not prevent medical aid.
2. New camp updates
The new Kara Tepe temporary camp is now operational. However, tents are mostly put directly on the ground, without any palettes underneath, and when it starts to rain, water and mud will be a huge problem. The first test will be this weekend when the weather forecast is predicting heavy rain and wind.
“There are no beds. When you enter you just get two bottles of water to drink, a blanket and a face mask.”
3. Fire Investigation
The two minors accused of arson are to return to Lesvos from mainland Greece to face a magistrate on Monday.
The six suspects were identified on video footage of the fires on social media.
4. Other island updates
A lockdown has been imposed today at the Leros Hotspot following the discovery of the first Covid-19 case in the camp. The restrictions will remain in force for at least two weeks. Refugees found walking outside the camp will face heavy fines and may be prosecuted.
European response 17/09/20:
1. The debate opened in EU Parliament
Today a debate opened in the European Parliament regarding the situation in Lesvos and how to deal with the thousands of people in need.
Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, said that the EU should not let anything like Moria ever happen again.
Greek MEP Kountoura appealed to other EU countries to take a bigger role in supporting refugees.
2. Demands for change across Europe
A change.org petition created by Europe Must Act, Choose Love and other NGOs has spread quickly across civil society in Europe.
Over 350 organisations have signed, along with nearly 65,000 individuals.
Protests have been scheduled in cities all over Europe in the upcoming week.