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Lesvos: Second refugee dies at the hot spot of Moria

A Syrian refugee  was found dead inside a tent at the refugee camp of Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos (Lesbos) on Saturday morning. the incident marks the second refugee death in Moria in a week.

According to local media, the 46-year-old man was taken to the hospital of the capital of the island Mytilene for an autopsy.

Rumors claimed that the man had died after inhaling the fumes of a makeshift stove.

On Tuesday, a 22-year-old Egyptian man was found dead in the same refugee camp. In Greek media it was reported that he had died of pathological reasons.

On Wednesday, on the island of Samos, a 41 year old Iraqi died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at the refugee camp where he had lived since early last December with his wife and three children.

The refugee had stated he was suffering from hypertension, diabetes and had spent a month without medication, according to daily Efimerida ton Syntakton.

The deaths highlight the poor conditions in which refugees and migrants live in the so-called hot spots on the Greek islands, especially during the cold winter months.

In the last weeks, unusual  strong snow falls and polar air masses have worsened the living conditions for the 60,000 refugees and migrants, especially for those on the islands and the mountainous areas.

The Greek government came under sharp criticism for having failed to improve the conditions in the often overcrowded camps on the Greek islands. Tents covered with snow at Moria on Lesbos, and snowed in families living in summer tents triggered a blame game among the Greek authorities, the UNHCR and international non-profit organizations as well as small non-governmental volunteers’ organizations involved in the Refugee crisis.

Authorities are struggling to create new facilities and move the people form the islands to the mainland. However, should they be moved to the mainland, those who illegally arrived in Greece after March 2016 are at risk to lose their right for asylum under the EU Turkey Deal.

Last week, the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reportedly accused Athens last week of failing to respond to its proposals about improving conditions at the existing camps. The UNHCR proposal is to erect pre-fabricated building units at the Moria camp on Lesbos. These units,  which are ready to install, would premit hundreds of people to survive inside flimsy tents under freezing conditions. According to UNHCR, the Greek government did not authorized the erection of these units.

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