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Daily Update (14/09/20)

Queues and confusion

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Meanwhile in Lesvos

1. Queuing for kilometres

  • The evening food distribution yesterday turned chaotic with people fighting for food and many receiving nothing.

  • Today people started queuing two hours in advance of the distribution as they were worried they would not receive food again.

  • The food line ended up being nearly 2km long with two queues for men and women.

  • Many people report that the food they received was inadequate - a woman said she had only received enough for 3 people yet she has 8 people in her family.

  • People are only receiving food once a day.

2. Ongoing protests

  • 200 women & children protested against the move to the new camp today with signs saying: ‘ No camp, freedom’; ‘we die every day’

  • Sunday morning 5 more riot police squads arrived on Lesvos

  • NGOs are sharing pictures of children with tear gas injuries from weekend protests

3. Camp confusion

  • Many people are afraid of entering the new camp as it is a closed camp and there are rumours that people are not allowed to leave.

  • Asylum-seekers are receiving confusing and conflicting advice about whether or not to register at the new camp.

  • People are being told they will not receive asylum appointments if they are not registered in the new camp, but many fear that once they are registered they will be stuck in Lesvos for even more time.

4. Basic resources update

  • Most former Moria residents are still trapped on Kara Tepe road and are still reporting water shortages, no masks and no adequate medical care.

  • A team of refugees from Moria White Helmets have been working to collect rubbish building up in the Kara Tepe area where people are camping out on the streets.

  • There are reports of few hygiene facilities and a shortage of mattresses and blankets in the new camp.

5. Ongoing fascist threat

  • Far right activists are threatening to come in from mainland Greece & even Germany.

Official Greek response 14/09/20:

  1. Greece is now registering the migrants and testing them for Covid-19 before channeling them into the temporary tent camp, although many are still refusing to move to the facility. At least 600 now settled with 14 testing positive for covid19. There are still inadequate Covid measures in place in the new camp.

  2. The Greek government has officially stated that no one will be moved off the island for six months due to the state of emergency. Asylum processing has been paused.

  3. Τhe governor of the island is asking all Greek citizens on the island to demonstrate tomorrow, calling for the removal of refugees from Lesvos

  4. There is increasing bitterness in Greece that despite expressions of sympathy across Europe little practical help is given to Greece to manage the fallout from the EU-Turkey deal or agree to take in more asylum seekers

  5. Investigations into the cause of the fire continue.

European response 14/09/20:

  1. The German government has said it is in talks to take in families with children in addition to around 150 unaccompanied minors which it has already signed up to take under a EU scheme

  2. ‘Das Bild’ reported today that Berlin is considering taking in thousands of refugees from Lesvos as a one-off gesture and also wants the Moria camp to be rebuilt and run by the European Union.

  3. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has called on the EU to receive refugees from Mora: ”In my opinion the only solution is to transfer these refugees to the continent and I hope there will be European solidarity”.

  4. 39 European cities are planning demonstrations on 20th September. They will demand the relocation of refugees from the Aegean islands.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

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