On the Greek island of Lesvos, nearly three-quarters of the more than 12,000 migrants from the burned-down Moria camp have moved to a new, temporary tent camp. The approximately 9,000 people were all registered so that the asylum procedure could continue, the Greek news agency ANA-MPA reported on Saturday.
The temporary warehouse is almost fully occupied – it is designed for up to 10,000 people. The people would also be tested for the coronavirus. So far the tests have been positive in 214 people. The infected would be isolated in a separate part of the camp. In early September, a source of infection of 35 infected people was discovered in the Moria camp before the fire broke out.
The migrants were left homeless after the fire in the Moria camp from September 8-9 and were forced to sleep on the streets and in the surrounding olive groves – without any infrastructure such as running water and toilets. On Thursday, the police began escorting people to the new camp.
Many of the migrants refused to go to the new camp, fearing they would be stuck there again for months in disastrous conditions. The police eventually increased the pressure to move the camping homeless to the new camp. Authorities threatened not to consider asylum applications from those who did not want to move to the new camp.
Video 17-09-2020, 9:47 am 12:31 pm Lesvos: Police officers take refugees to a new camp
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) supports the new camp “as a temporary solution”. However, it is not suitable for long-term housing of the refugees. “The Greek authorities must clarify the future of the site,” said UNHCR.
The streets where homeless people have lived since the great fire have been cleared for traffic again, the online portal of the island “Sto Nisi” reported. From Monday, the surrounding stores that were closed in recent days would also reopen. The authorities are busy cleaning and disinfecting the streets.
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The previously overcrowded Moria registration warehouse was almost completely closed before the fire due to Corona – of the 12,000 migrants, only about 100 were allowed to leave the warehouse for important visits to the authorities or doctor’s appointments. Many have been waiting there for months or even more than a year for their asylum decision. Others were in the camp with rejected asylum applications.
The migrants demand that they be completely removed from the island. This is also supported by humanitarian organizations. Athens adheres to the 2016 EU agreement with Turkey. According to this, all migrants must remain on the islands until their asylum procedure is completed. Those who do not receive asylum must return to Turkey. Regarding Corona, Turkey has not taken back migrants with rejected asylum applications for months.
Due to the desperate situation in Moria, there has been repeated unrest, riots and arson in recent years. Last Wednesday, the fire would also have been caused by migrants who would have caused fires in several places at the same time in strong winds. Six men were arrested for this; Four of the alleged arsonists aged 19 and 20 will be heard on Lesvos for the first time on Saturday, and two other suspected 17-year-olds will be heard on Monday. (dpa, AFP)