Tag Archive for '2015'

Moria / Lesbos: Rain-sodden feet, frozen white hands, hypothermic pregnant women and trampled down children

The “Hot Spot” of horror is what Moria turned to the last week and since its inauguration when numbers of new arrivals were high and the weather conditions harsh with constant rain falls. The authorities together with the UNHCR and all other involved actors of the humanitarian aid regime failed in protecting hundreds of refugees from what was a predictable catastrophe.

Trying to protect his baby / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Trying to protect his baby / copyright: Salinia Stroux

“Mummy, mummy…,” desperate voices of children cut the sound of the strong rain fall like knives on Friday night when the horror of Moria reached once more its peak. In the darkness around the Non-Syrian gate of Moria three children are standing in the mud and crying. The two sisters and one brother lost hold of their parents. “They told us to wait in the tent. Then they went to get the documents for us. We are 5 days waiting in the queue. Two days we are permanently wet. We are hungry. We freeze. Our parents left hours ago. Now it is dark. We are afraid in the tent alone.”
Small boy covered in garbage bag / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Small boy covered in garbage bag / copyright: Salinia Stroux

That night dozens of children lose their parents. Others are aside their families in the queue. Only dozens of families still hold their places in the line as rain falls got so strong that rivers of water are falling down the dusty road of the queue where people are standing. Some are barefoot. Most are covered only with garbage bags. All are wet. The few people who didn’t give up in the hope to get a chance to enter now that most have tried to find a shelter to protect themselves from the rain, a pushing towards the fence. Small children faces are pressed on the fence. They are crying. Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: Rain-sodden feet, frozen white hands, hypothermic pregnant women and trampled down children’

Moria / Lesbos: “Hot Spot” reminds of war zone

++Refugees left to survive in Moria under inhuman conditions++Vulnerable groups unprotected for days in war zone like areal++

This child doesn't stop crying as it is exhausted and afraid / copyright: Salinia Stroux

This child doesn’t stop crying as it is exhausted and afraid / copyright: Salinia Stroux

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.”

Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: “Hot Spot” reminds of war zone’

Moria / Lesbos: Chaotic registration queues leave refugees in future Hot Spot under inhumane conditions for hours

++No welcome for refugees in Moria++ Hot Spot feared to become deportation machinery++

Hot Spot to be inaugurated on Friday, October 15, 2015 in Moria camp while registration procedures are malfunctioning, there is no identification system for vulnerable groups in place and living conditions are inhumane and degrading. The lack of basic needs provision leaves refugees unprotected waiting in the registration queues for hours and days.

A father is standing in the police field near registration gates observing the queue / copyright: Salinia Stroux

A father is standing in the police field near registration gates observing the queue / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Meanwhile within the last days Lesbos welcomed many high ranking officials including Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Austrian Chancellor Faymann, UN High Commissioner Guterrez and a US delegation of senators accompanied by the US ambassador in Athens David Pierce. On Friday Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament is expected to visit the island with Dimitris Avramopoulos the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and Luxemburgs Minister of Foreign affairs Asselborn. The island currently attracts once again the worlds attention as the first “Hot Spot” in Greece is planned to open in presence of the official visitors and Greek Migration Minister Mouzalas in Moria on Friday, October 15, only shortly after the first days of functioning of the Hot Spot in Lampedusa, Italy. Within the next week a first small group of Syrian refugees are already planned to be relocated to Luxemburg.

Dozens of children are sleeping on the arms of the parents in the queue / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Dozens of children are sleeping on the arms of the parents in the queue / copyright: Salinia Stroux

The identification detention centre Moria will be turned to the Hot Spot on Lesbos island after concluding a pilot phase which lasted for the last days supported by 53 specialists from Frontex. Tomorrow another 600 Frontex officers will arrive to start working in the Hot Spot. Already today 12 registration machines donated by Germany have been brought to the island to be used in Moria.
It is highly critical that until today it is unclear, how the Hot Spots will function in detail and that it is unknown what will happen after registration and screening to both population groups: The once assessed eligible as protection seekers and the rest whose deportation will be in plan. The only thing clear is that a few protection seekers will be send to Europe for asylum while many others will be deported to their home countries.

Daily registration numbers (careful: not numbers of arrivals!) have risen to 3,500, while neither the problem of food provision for the camps of Moria and Kara Tepe has been solved yet, nor are there sufficient tents, blankets or dry clothes for the wet newcomers. At the same time the limited support structures inside Moria are available only to a part of the refugee population (the Syrians and some Non-Syrians who have been already registered) and only at specific working hours while the refugee boats arrive at the shores of the island at any point of time during day and night.
Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: Chaotic registration queues leave refugees in future Hot Spot under inhumane conditions for hours’

Moria / Lesbos: Kara Tepe re-opens as mere accommodation camp and registration in Moria breaks down

Hundreds of Syrian wait for their registration in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Hundreds of Syrian wait for their registration in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Hundreds of Syrians were waiting for hours in Moria to get registered as the computers used encountered technical problems. Syrians do now receive also in Mytilene again the 6-months suspension of deportation paper with a photo.

UNHCR Ikea refugee houses are full once more / copyright: Salinia Stroux

UNHCR Ikea refugee houses are full once more / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Meanwhile only very few No-Syrians arrived to the camp yesterday. They were again allowed to enter the areal of the camp and use the tents and the bathrooms amongst others. Meanwhile busses brought hundreds of registered Syrians to Kara Tepe which was re-opened and is aimed to host the registered until they leave to Athens. Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: Kara Tepe re-opens as mere accommodation camp and registration in Moria breaks down’

Moria / Lesbos: Registration speeded up a few days before visit of UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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.

Refugee families queueing in the back of the riot police busses in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Refugee families queueing in the back of the riot police busses in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

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.

Moria / Lesbos: Tear gas and beatings continue while families wait in the mud all the night

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.

Queue of single men after tear gas attacks and beatings when registration halted / copyright: Salinia Stroux

Queue of single men after tear gas attacks and beatings when registration halted / copyright: Salinia Stroux

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’

Moria / Lesbos: “This looks like the end of the world here!”

A father tries to help his son after another tear gas attack by lightening a small fire and holding the smoke near his eyes / copyright: Salinia Stroux

A father tries to help his son after another tear gas attack by lightening a small fire and holding the smoke near his eyes / copyright: Salinia Stroux

“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!”

Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: “This looks like the end of the world here!”’

Moria / Lesbos: Registration chaos, police violence, hunger, thirst and sleeping rough

October 3: Registration queue in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

October 3: Registration queue in Moria / copyright: Salinia Stroux

In the first days of October 2015 Moria has become for one more time a nightmare to refugees and activists alike even though registration procedures have been speeded up since September. Anyhow, the system changes every day with no one knowing how to actually get documents. The despair of the people arriving wet from the coasts, staying outside in the cold without shelter, food or water, medication and without any information on what to do – specifically in the nights – is creating anxiousness and stress. Hundreds of refugees stand for hours and through all of the night in queues: One day on the upper gate, the next day on the another gate, once with extra queues for families, once without…. While many refugees are pushing to enter and get registered, riot police is controlling the gates with clubs and tear gas by force.
Continue reading ‘Moria / Lesbos: Registration chaos, police violence, hunger, thirst and sleeping rough’

Goodbye in the port of Lesvos / Officer kicks Syrian unaccompanied minor to wake him up

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.

44a

“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.”

22a

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.”

21.7.15: W2eu / Infomobile Greece: Call for Solidarity for refugees in Greece

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.

Homeless Afghan families sleep in public parks

Homeless Afghan families sleep in public parks

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.
Keyword: Infomobile
Banc: Hamburger Sparkasse
IBAN: DE06200505501257122737
BIC: HASPDEHHXXX

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.

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/ and http://lesvos.w2eu.net/

Contakt: lesvos.w2eu@yahoo.gr

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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