António Guterres is going to visit Greece for the days between 9.-12. October to assess refugee crisis in Greece. In Lesvos, Guterres is going to visit the main arrival points of refugees and the so-called reception centers, while he will meet with local officials, NGOs working on the island and volunteer groups.Only two days before his arrival to Greece local authorities suddenly started again using the expedited registration procedures in Moria pre-removal centre for the non-Syrian refugees, which they had applied during the escalation of the refugee crisis in the first 10 days of September, when 30,000 refugees were stuck on the island. The lighter bureaucracy is being used in Moria within the last month with an on off button every time things are getting worse, while in the Syrian camp Kara Tepe registration procedures got eased on a long term basis weeks ago.
During the last week non-Syrian refugees in Moria – among them many children – were suffering once more tear gas attacks and beatings by riot police as they were trying desperately to enter the pre-removal centre for registration. Dozens of refugees were transported to the hospital during these days.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Lesbos island on October 6, accompanied by Austrian chancellor Werner Feymann, to ostensibly appraise the refugee crisis on the islands firsthand, but what they saw there did not correspond to the everyday reality as thousands of refugees had left in four unscheduled extra ferries beforehand, the port had been cleaned, bus transportation of refugees from the north of the island to the camps had been halted, suddenly no boats were crossing the sea border just for the time during the short visit and his visit in Moria camp was focused on an inspection of the almost empty First Reception Centre, while in the meanwhile a few meters further inside the fenced territory at the pre-removal detention centre where registration takes place the desperate crowds were repressed by riot police with tear gas and severe beatings.Hundreds of refugees coming mainly from Afghanistan and Iraq were trying yesterday again to get registered in Moria – often for the third and fourth day. Especially many of the highly vulnerable, such as families with babies and toddlers, handicapped and sick persons or elderly couldn’t manage to pass through the crowds around the gates, the clouds of tear gas and the beatings of the riot police. Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: Tear gas and beatings continue while families wait in the mud all the night’
“Why don’t the authorities apply a registration system that works? Who is the responsible here? I really would like to speak to him. There are easy solutions to the problem. I am in the queue for three days and three nights now. Look around. This looks like the end of the world here!”
It is Sunday. For at least two nights no refugee was seen during night sleeping in the port of Mytilene. Today there are again about 100 persons from Afghanistan and Syria mainly but also from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries.
“We spent five nights in the detention center in Moria,” they say. “It was specifically ver crowded at the outside area where we were in the beginning.”
Everybody is stressed to leave. A handful of families didn’t know they had to get tickets for their babies too even if they were for free. While trying to enter the ferry they were send back to the ticket office. The mothers had already entered with the other children and were not reachable. Two Syrian dads and one Afghan holding all small babies stand beside the ticket shop not knowing what to do. Their women have the documents of the children inside the boat. Only in the last minutes and after discussions with the ticket office they manage to solve the problem and run in the ferry.
A group of kurdish Syrian men is standing aside. They are angry.
“I want to ask you what we can do. In the morning an officer came on a motor bike. He parked and came over to the place we were sleeping on the street. Then he kicked this 16-year-old who is traveling alone twice and shouted ‘stand up’. We are no animals! If we had more time we would go to report this at the police station. We are not afraid, we have honor. We want you to publish this somewhere. The number of the motor bike was MTZ 415. It was around 5:30 in the morning of Sunday 2.8.15. Thank you.”
Two days between Kara Tepe tent camp and the port of Mytilene (24.7.-25.7.15)
“We fear to loose track of our family if we move away from here,” F. the elder brother says. “My father said we should wait here for them.” He seems exhausted and under pressure carrying all the responsibility of holding his family together on his small shoulders. With an official note ordering them to leave the country within 30 days, both boys’ time is running out, while they wait for their relatives. “My father said they would be released today. Again they didn’t let them go. Others were only one night in there. I don’t understand why they don’t let them free.”
The Welcome to Europe Info-Guide is now available in an updated version (as of July 2015).
Download the web version here:
Info Guide Greece 2015 (web version)
For a print version with higher analysis please send an e-mail request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNHCR estimates that currently 1,000 refugees reach daily Greece. Most of them arrive on the islands of the Aegean, at the sea border to neighbouring Turkey. Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos, Leros only to name some of the islands with high numbers of newcomers face a humanitarian crisis that cannot and shouldn’t be dealt with solely by the Greek government. European solidarity is needed.
Despite the current political and economic crisis nowadays solidarity has emerged mainly from the civil society with local people together with tourists trying to support where needed. Yet there are hundreds if not thousands of refugees spending days and weeks under devastating conditions in provisory tent camps, detention centres or on the streets exposed to the weather and unprotected. There is no sanitary infrastructure that can suffice the real needs. Hygiene is getting more and more a serious issue leaving many persons with skin diseases or infections i.e. of the stomach. There is not enough food, clothes, hygiene products, medicine, cleaning products, tents etc. Everything is needed.
Also in the main urban centers such as Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras as well as in border regions such as Eidoumeni / Kilkis in the North refugees are concentrating while in transit for days if not longer. They stay often homeless in public squares and parks or simply on the streets, fields or forests. Their situation is getting more and more critical every day.
What is urgently needed:
– Money donations, so that needed products (specifically fresh ones like food) can be bought in Greece for refugees. We want to support the Greek economy too, which has been exhausted by European austerity measures.
– Sun crèmes, sun hats (specifically for children) and mosquito sprays (for children)
– Baby milk powder, pampers, baby summer clothes and shoes
– Tents, light sleeping bags and towels
– Sandals and sport shoes for women, men and children
– Soap, shampoo, washing powder for clothes, skin crèmes
– Medicine (which should be send to the social clinics or social farmacies in Greece preferably though)
– Any support in men force is wanted too if self-organised, self-financed and independent. Please contact local NGOs or solidarity groups if you plan to come for help.
Please send monetary donations to:
Wohnschiffprojekt Altone e.V.
Banc: Hamburger Sparkasse
For sending any other donations contact us, tell us what you want to send / bring and we will discuss where it makes more sense to address the donations as situations change over time locally.