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Who is responsible for this ?

Εκτύπωση

Who is responsible for this?The massive arrival of 81 refugees, fleeing from Syria’s war, at the coast of Sfikountas (between Viki and Kampia), at the North of Chios, could have resulted into a tragedy if, in their despair, refugees did not alert with a fire the passing boat that connects the islands of Psara and Chios. Trapped for many hours in the steep coast, dehydrated and exhausted, families with children (among them 24 minors and infants), tried to use smoke as their last resort in order to be located.

Despite the inability to coordinate which department was officially responsible for the evacuation of the refugees (police, port authorities, fire department), the efforts to evacuate the refugees began yesterday afternoon and were completed the following morning, with the participation of volunteers.

With obvious sings of hardship and suffering, with their wet clothes still on and their legs heavily scratched by thorns and rocks, children and adults had to endure an all-day medical examination procedure.

By the end of the day, and despite the important help by organizations and volunteers, especially by "Imatiothiki tis agapis" (“wardrobe of love”) - we were confronted once again by the same blunt and embarrassing truth for all.

There was no food for 81 people - they hadn't eaten since the day before, which means for 30 hours – since, as was extensively and monotonously repeated to us, the Port Authority had no credit or money for food. We tried to feed them (not nearly enough though), with 10 pizzas (whip-round paid) and 12 portions of food from a military unit. If tomorrow brings a change of some sort, maybe things will get better. And all this, due to the fact that the state can insure confinement but not food.

 

And food is not the only problem. The 81 persons were divided into two groups. One group of 40 people was piled in the basement gym of the police department, while the others were squeezed in the miserable hovel of the Port Authorities of Chios.

This wooden shack obligates us to accept that it is possible for 40 people, babies, women and men, to sleep on the floor, piled up one on top of the other.

It obligates us to accept as tolerable the destroyed toilet, where half of the floor is missing, and where rats pop in and out (at least two were strolling, women refugees saw them and asked us to kill them as they were afraid to sleep).

It obligates us to accept that babies, women and men cannot even wash themselves and that they must remain unfed, piled up and unwashed in this miserable box that is not suitable even for a stable.

It obligates us to accept that 40 persons can sleep in 30 square meters. It obligates us to accept every time the incredible excuses for the fact that this situation has not improved over the past ten months.

Our question is: shouldn’t our strength and voice, individually and collectively, be enough so as to treat human beings as human beings?

Who amongst us could stand such a humiliation? And with what right does the state impose it, in the name of the law and of bureaucratic red tape?

Sirs, this miserable situation at the Port Authorities can't go any further. One might hear aimless words, but the blunt truth can not be hidden. The excuses and the transferring of responsibilities back and forth, expose those who have administrative and political jurisdiction.

Let'slive up to our dignity. The dreadful conditions of the Port Authorities must come to an end.

Lathra – SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES IN CHIOS

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