A child during the protest in Mytilene, Lesvos, 29/8/2017 — Photo: City Plaza Squat

Are You Syrious? — Weekly Digest (28/8/2017–3/9/2017)

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

Relocation

The Greek Asylum Services published data on August 30 showing that more than 18,000 asylum seekers were relocated from Greece to other countries in the European Union from October 2015 until August 27 of this year.

Flights for another 984 people have been scheduled. The majority of these refugees were taken in by Germany, followed by France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

During the same period, the Asylum Service received 27,378 relocation applications and sent 24,749 requests to other EU countries for acceptance. Of these, 22,288 have been accepted, 1,164 rejected and 532 are still pending.

There are about 62,000 refugees in Greece and most of them don’t intend to stay in the country.


The Fylakio camp

  • Information about a camp 10km from the Turkish border has been released. Crossings of the river Evros, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, have increased since May.
  • The facility has been a mystery, despite residents’ claims of rights abuses. Humanitarian organisations are not allowed entrance. One resident sent a report to ISHTAR group, who published it on August 30.
  • The camp is run by the Greek military. Those are registered and issued documents there, are those caught crossing by land from Turkey. Fingerprint identification is mandatory for all.
  • The refugees are initially placed in a prison located next to the camp, usually for a period of three days to two weeks. No means of communication are allowed in the prison.
Photos: ISHTAR group
  • The camp is surrounded by fences, barbed wire, surveillance cameras and under the guard of the Greek army. Most of the residents are Syrians, Iraqis and Palestinians.
  • Unaccompanied minors are held for a long time in this compound, the report states, several have been there for more than two and a half months.
Photo: Sea Watch— “These pictures from #Moria detention camp say it all: this is how Europe treats people in need.”

Lesvos

  • On August 27, a group of refugees, mainly from Afghanistan, residing in Moria camp started protesting on the island of Lesvos. They marched to Sappho Square in Mytilene, which they occupied for three days.
  • They demanded the expedition of their asylum applications, an end to deportations, and freedom of movement to the Greek mainland. Many attended the protest wearing T-shirts on which their date of arrival was written. Some claimed they have been on the island for more than a year.
  • On August 30, authorities promised the demonstrators that their demands will be met once they returned to the camp, and that asylum cases would be decided by September 1. Authorities have yet to release any solid plans, and many refugees are threatening to reoccupy Sappho Square in Mytilene.

Accommodation

Whilst the islands remain overcrowded, accommodation on the mainland is underused. Only 68.5% of UNHCR housing is taken, according to data from August 22.


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