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Sports Greece inaugurates its first "closed" camp for asylum seekers

13:00  18 september  2021
13:00  18 september  2021 Source:   france24.com

to the one: In Greece, "Moria no longer exists, but nothing has changed for refugees"

 to the one: In Greece, © AFP - Louisa Gouliamiki Photo of the refugee camp of Moria, in Greece, taken on September 10, 2020, ravaged by fires. Nearly 13,000 migrants left homeless remained in wandering on the island of Lesbos. On September 8th and 9th, 2020, Moria's camp, the largest in Europe, leaving smoke, ravaged by two fires. One year later, asylum seekers have been relocated in a new, more overcrowded structure, but in always precarious conditions, more isolated than ever.

Le gouvernement grec veut évacuer tous les réfugiés du bidonville de Vathy d'ici la fin septembre sur l'île de Samos. © Aris Messinis, AFP The Greek government wants to evacuate all the refugees of the Bidonville de Vathy by the end of September on the island of Samos.

Greece promises better conditions of refugees but human rights defenders are concerned about the confinement of asylum seekers in this new camp inaugurated Saturday on the island of Samos.

barbed wire and surveillance cameras, on the island of Samos, Facing Turkey , The Greek Government inaugurated on Saturday 18 September, the first migrant camp called "closed and controlled access", an expression that worried Human rights defenders.

X-ray scanners and magnetic doors at the entrance, integrated retention center, this new camp will only be accessible by asylum seekers with badges with electronic chips. At night, the back and forth will be totally prohibited.

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The European Commission is committed to financing 276 million euros five new camps on the Aegean Islands which receive most migrants arriving nearby Turkish coasts.

"The model of controlled structures will be progressively adopted in all islands and in continental Greece," said the Greek minister of migration notis Mitrachi this summer.

A camp of this type should be completed next month in Leros. In Lesbos, where The Moria camp was reduced in ashes last year, the work has not started yet.

Better living conditions according to the authorities

The Greek government ensures that these centers will meet European standards, with better accommodation, running water, toilets, separate areas for families, and more security.

Greece inaugurates in Samos its first "closed" camp for asylum seekers

 Greece inaugurates in Samos its first © AFP B Arbeled, X-ray scanners and magnetic doors: on the Greek island of Samos, the new "closed" camp for migrants , first of a "new generation" inaugurated Saturday, looks at first sight at a prison isolated a quarter of an hour from the main city.

Greece has often been decried for the deplorable living conditions of its Aegean Islands camps.


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in Samos, the bidonville of Vathy, which must be totally emptied by the end of September, had housed nearly 7,000 asylum seekers between 2015 and 2016, for an initial capacity of 680 people.

The invasion of rats, the improvised wooden barracks without heating, the lack of toilets and showers continue to punctuate the daily life of some 600 current residents.

These must be transferred gradually from Monday and until the end of the month, in the new structure at some 5 km away.

The army will then dismantle the Vathy camp, will remove the containers and decontaminate the area, which will then be returned to the municipality.

"This is a promise made to the local community," noted Notis Mitrachi, who intends to answer the anger of islanders who, for years, watched the camp spread at the gates of Vathy, the main City of the island.

Greece: in Samos, inauguration of a new "closed center" for asylum seekers

 Greece: in Samos, inauguration of a new © AP - Michael Svarnias Photo of the new "closed center" intended for the reception of asylum seekers on the Greek Island From Samos, inaugurated on September 18, 2021. on the island of Samos, the Greek authorities inaugurated, Saturday, September 18, a prefabricated center brand new of 3,000 places, surrounded by barbed wire and located in an isolated bowl, 15 minutes from the former Vathy camp, designed to disappear.

But the premises do not want the new camp, although more isolated, and require that migrants are all transferred to the continent.

Concerns of NGOs

Human rights defenders are concerned about the confinement of asylum seekers in the new camp.

These new centers "will prevent efficiently identifying vulnerable persons", "limit the access of asylum seekers to services" and "amplify the adverse effect of confinement on the mental health of persons", have About fifty NGOs, including Amnesty International.

"The word + closed + comes back often and it's disturbing", Admits Mireille Girard, the representative in Greece from the Office of the United Nations (UNHCR) who will be present at Samos during transfers to ensure that Migrants are well informed about the situation.

"The position of UNHCR is that the asylum seeker needs protection, it is not a criminal or someone who represents a risk to the community, it's a person who needs help. For We, the camps must be opened, the government assured us that they would be, "she told AFP.

Athens continues to welcome the significant decongestion of the camps on the islands and the arrivals of nearly 90% since 2019.

But the NGOs explain this decline by the systematic and illegal repression of migrants to Turkey. The Greek Conservative government has always denied.

with AFP

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