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Vial camp, Chios, Greece. People including many children live under terrible and dangerous conditions during low freezing temperatures, trapped in between closed borders. (Photo: Vasiliki Antoniou)

Are You Syrious? — Weekly Digest (22/11/2017–28/11/2017)

Summarized: this week’s reports about the refugee situation in Greece courtesy of Are you Syrious?.

Lesbos — the critical point

Reaching 8728 of refugees and migrants at the Island of Lesbos means critical point in the refugee crisis so far. The official maximal number recommended for Lesbos is way lower — only 2330 refugees could accept Moria Camp.

Moria camp, Lesbos (Photo: NoBorders)

Conditions for refugees and migrants are still catastrophic. Everything combined drives difficulty of living beyond the normal. Local media reported on Sunday /26/11/2017 that a clash between Afghani refugees on the island left one person dead. The fight allegedly occurred outside of a house near the Moria camp which a group of Afghani refugees had been renting.

A tour of Moria camp, Monday 27 November 2017. Pouring rain throughout the day. Thousands of women, men and children in flimsy tents. (Photo: Lesvos Solidarity Pikpa)

Protests at Sapfous Square were facing ending, when protesters needed to remove their tents on Wednesday, 22/11/2017, following negotiations with authorities. The protesters returned to the square next morning. They returned without tents, to continue their peaceful protest but were hindered by locals. The police intervened, by using force against the protesters. Some protesters were taken to the hospital afterwards to receive medical care.

(Photo: No Border Kitchen Lesvos)

The protesters were surrounded by riot police in heavy gear for a few hours, while some far-right elements were verbally attacking both refugees and people from solidarity groups, reports Lesvos Solidarity — Pikpa, adding that the protesters are now staying in Pikpa camp, while waiting for the outcome of the negotiations with the authorities. The police stays present in Sapfous Square.

Occupying Syriza party building

The building of Syriza party was occupied after protesting refugees who were occupied a local square were met with many threats by the police and citizens, and physically attacked on multiple occasions. The activist Arash Hampay put out a statement explaining the occupation.

(Photo: Lesvos Solidarity — Pikpa)

This protest is not an attempt to demand any sort of privilege over other refugees, but solely because we do not feel nor are we safe.
The unacceptable conditions of accommodation, the miserable nutrition provided, the absence of decent and appropriate medical care, the vengeful deprivation of water supply for drinking as well as hygiene due to the participation in mobilizing for protests, the constant police oppression inside Moria, and the violent conflicts erupting between different nationalities which are cultivated by the administration of the camp itself compose the framework of the aggressive imprisonment perpetuated in that environment.

All the above are connected to the EU policies which continuously produce wars that create in turn migration flows, while simultaneously denies free and safe passage of the victims of these wars. These policies include the EU-Turkey deal which was singed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government of Greece.

Mainland

This week the General Commission of the Greek Administrative Courts wrote an open letter to the Ministers of Justice and Migration Policy and Directors of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority. This letter was encouraging the government to do more to accelerate the processing of asylum applications. While this may at first seem like a good-faith attempt to open the islands, the proposals would likely be harmful to many refugees living in Greece. For example, among other recommendations, it suggests removing protections for persons suffering from PTSD.

Patras

Docmobile has descibed Patras as an inhumane habitat for living. People are stuck in this small port town in between Thessaloniki and Athens, without protection or help. “Some people consider themselves lucky simply for having a tent.”

(Photo: Docmobile)

Docmobile confirms that bed linin in is in short supply and that fresh clothing, and adequate hygiene is unattainable. They also say that infections and scabies are present within the population who is sleeping on cold hard concrete floors.

PAOK vs. Pakistanis

Clashes erupted in Athens on Sunday, 26/11/2017, when a group of supporters of Thessaloniki football club Paok attacked a group of Pakistanis who held a march celebrating prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Tsipras proud about mainland condition for refugees

Prime Minister Tsipras has told a French newspaper he is “proud” of the living conditions of refugees on the Greek mainland. He believes that the 60.000 refugees on the mainland have access to medical care and education. AYS raising a question, that “maybe he has forgotten about Derveni Camp were many still live in tents and find it difficult to access health care even though this is one of the reception camps for vulnerable cases being brought over from the islands.”

He also defended the EU-Turkey deal which has been widely condemned by human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch who believe it is contributing to suicide and self-harm.

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