ΕΚΠΟΜΠΗ ΤΗΣ Deutsche Welle

Εκτύπωση
Ακούστε την εκπομπή

Aid agencies have accused Greece of creating a “humanitarian crisis” for hundreds of illegal migrants detained on the Mediterranean island of Lesvos while trying to get into Europe.

Medecins Sans Frontieres says those kept at the island’s reception centre are living in conditions that are not fit for humans.

Local authorities do not deny the accusations but say they are doing all they can to cope with the situation. They point out that the influx of people from the Middle East crossing illegally from the Turkish coast has tripled in the last year.

Elinda Labropoulou reports from Lesvos.

It would take a leap of the imagination for the two-storey building with the barred windows and the tiny yard surrounded by a barbed-wired fence too look like anything other than a prison.
Yet the converted storage house in an industrial street of Lesvos is being used as a reception centre for thousands of would-be migrants and asylum seekers trying to get into Europe.
The Greek island of Lesvos is one of crossing points closest to the Turkish coast. Police say this year’s immense influx in illegal migrants going through the island is largely the result of the tightening of Greek-Turkish overland borders.
The unprecedented number of arrivals this summer led to conditions at the overcrowded building reaching critical level. 18 year old Khalid, an Afghan from Kabul, who has just been released, says there are three times more people than beds.
“There was no lamp in the bathroom and the drain didn’t work so there was a lot of stagnant water. It took hours to get rid of it. Also there was no hot water and there was one bathroom for so many people. As for the toilets there was such a small number of them that you had to get in the queue from early in the morning if you wanted to go in the afternoon. So basically you could only use it once a day. And the worse thing is that the toilet was right by the room we stayed in. As it didn’t function properly it stank. And with so many people there conditions were truly unbearable.
” 15 year old Husain, an Afghan refugee from Iran, has spent a week at the centre. He says sanitary conditions are so bad that a lot of people got sick after arriving.
Less than a month ago aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres accused Greece of creating a “humanitarian crisis” in the centre. Since then conditions have marginally improved but they remain unacceptable says MSF doctor Nikolaos Mounikiotis who has been based in Lesvos for the last two months.
“We are trying to improve some sanitarian conditions and also to give some extra medical help to the people here because also from the medical point of view they need more help. There are people staying in conditions that are not for people. There are women and children in a room. Too many of them for this room. There is no place to step in this room when they were 800 people. Also they cannot go outside. The children they cannot play there. They are like prisoners so its something illegal. Since I have been here, for two months, I have not seen any cleaning of the rooms. There is the easiest to be transmitted diseases in such an environment. (00.47)
Since the MSF call some improvements have been made at the Lesvos centre. And Prefect Pavlos Vogiatzis does not deny the accusations. But, he says, the numbers are simply to high for authorities to cope with despite their best intentions.
“At the moment we are dealing with a crisis, given that every day we have on average 100 new people arriving in Lesvos. The reception centre is a converted space that can only cover the needs of 200-250 individuals staying there. But this summer we had days when we had 880 individuals. In the last year we had over 10,000 people go through Lesvos and that has caused many problems.”
Greece has six main reception centers, and problems have been reported in all of them.
Following official policy line on the matter, the Lesvos Prefect says that illegal immigration is a pan-European problem and that it is time for Greece’s EU partners to do more to support the countries on the front line.
Elinda Labropoulou DW Radio Lesvos
Copyright © 2005 - 2017 lathra.
Thursday the 23rd. Free Joomla Templates by Joomla 2.5 Templates. ΛΑΘΡΑ; Επιτροπή αλληλεγγύης στους Πρόσφυγες Χίου www.lathra.gr