Tag Archive for 'mytilini'

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Syrian refugees arriving on Lesvos and in Athens in 2012 / Al Jazeera

In Greek migrant camp, refugees find tough road to Europe

By Naomi Kresge

It was 6.30 a.m. on a Saturday when Greek Coast Guard Ensign Chrisafis Theofilos’s boat got a report of a migrant drowning off the coast of the island of Lesvos.

As dawn began to break, Theofilos sped south toward the man’s coordinates. His scheduled departure had already been delayed five hours by a broken radar system that headquarters in Athens hadn’t yet fixed. That made night patrols too dangerous. Before Theofilos got to the man, another Coast Guard boat had already picked him up and taken him to the hospital with hypothermia.
Continue reading ‘In Greek migrant camp, refugees find tough road to Europe’

Accounts of the only survivor of the ship tragedy nearby Lesvos on Friday 14th

The interview was held by Ilias Maravas for EPA Aigaiou

I remember that I arrived at the shore. I looked for them but I couldn’t find anyone. Then I remember that I woke up in the hospital.

The only survivor of the refugee tragedy of Friday near Lesvos island is a 16-year-old from Bamiyan in Afghanistan. He had entered a dinghy with 28 other Afghans on Friday when after one hour the dinghy started getting into distress and water entered the boat. It turned around and they all fell into the sea.
Continue reading ‘Accounts of the only survivor of the ship tragedy nearby Lesvos on Friday 14th’

21 dead migrants found on Lesvos Islands’ coast, two survivors – the rest still missing!

On Saturday 15th December in the early morning hours the coast guard found 18 corpses of migrant men and one survivor in Thermi, Lesvos. Until now 21 corpses have been found, two persons have survived (one is in Mytilini and one in Turkey) and seven are still missing. The survivor found first on the Greek side informed the authorities that they had started with a ship of 30 migrants from Turkey which capsized on Friday. the authorities try to locate the rest of the migrants in the sea now – among them two women and two children.

Only one 16-year-old survivor has been plucked out of the water and was hospitalised in the island capital Mytilene and another 17-year-old on the Turkish side. The young boy found in the sea near Lesvos told investigators most of those on board the boat which also carried women and children were from Afghanistan with only two persons from Turkey. Greek public television Net said two women and two children had been among the passengers. The group set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat during the night, about two miles off Lesvos.

UPDATE: Two of the corpses were recognised by relatives living in Greece and Sweden respectively. One of the is a 17-year-old whose cousin came to recognise him from Naxos where he is living and the other is a 42-year-old whose brother came from Sweden to check for his whereabouts. Through the recognition of the 17-year-old it became known that there has been found another survivor on the Turkish side. The young survivor found in Lesvos left hospital on Tuesday 18 and was transferred to the detention cells of the coast guard.

yahoo news (in greek)
left.gr (in greek)
tvxs (in greek)
lesvos news (in greek)
to vima (in greek)

Read the Press Release of MSF Mission on Lesvos:

Greece: MSF raises concerns after boat tragedy in Lesvos
Date Published: 19/12/2012 11:10

On the dawn of Friday 14th December, a boat sank near the coast of the Greek island of Lesvos where Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been providing medical and relief assistance to newly arrived migrants and refugees since October. It is believed that 28 migrants were on board. The death toll has so far risen to 21 while the coast guard is still looking for six missing people. There is only one survivor so far, an 18 year old male.
Continue reading ’21 dead migrants found on Lesvos Islands’ coast, two survivors – the rest still missing!’

Call for Solidarity from Mytilini, Lesvos: New arrivals of refugees / PIKPA opened

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

Since yesterday (28.11.12) the civil society has managed to temporarily win the struggle for an open first reception centre with the authorities agreeing to transfer all the unregistered to PIKPA – a place also used once before during noborder Lesvos 2009 for the same purpose. About 70 refugees – among them pregnant women, small children and even a 10-day-old baby. Immediately both police and citizens started bringing even a few more freshly arrived. PIKPA is a summer camp construction, which is now not in a condition to be inhabited, thus, the local population together with the refugees try to make it more comfortable, to re-store the water connections etc. and to bring food for the persons hosted there. This ad hoc solution still needs a lot of support in order to become an official open reception centre, now still being a temporary solution.
There is a great need of support of any kind!

Foto: K. Koukoulis


Continue reading ‘Call for Solidarity from Mytilini, Lesvos: New arrivals of refugees / PIKPA opened’

Hungers strike of migrant detainees in Mytilini and racist attacks against homeless newcomers

On Tuesday November 20 some of the migrants detained in Mytilini police station for undocumented entry into Greece through the Turkish border started a hunger strike in order to protest against the humiliating detention conditions and the long detention periods. They struggle for freedom. It is not known how many of them continue the struggle and if some have been already released or not.

Arrivals of migrants have started again this summer, fastly exceeding the capacities of detention cells in the local police stations of the island. Due to the general order “to keep them as long as possible in detention” overcrowdedness amongst others has been reported throughout the four months to worsen the detention conditions. Continue reading ‘Hungers strike of migrant detainees in Mytilini and racist attacks against homeless newcomers’

New border crossings into Greece: A revival of the old routes in the Aegean?

Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).

read also the press release of the Doctors Without Borders on the situation on the islands (in english)

In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.

see also earlier post with the press releases

In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.

In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.

In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.

see: indymedia 4.9.12

In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.

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.

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