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Anger on Lesvos over makeshift refugee camps set up by NGOs

Hundreds of Kurdish asylum seekers left the Moria camp on the island of Lesvos after violence broke out last Friday. Solidarity groups and NGOs set up makeshift camps for the people in need of food, water and shelter, an action that drew the anger of local authorities that turned to local justice and complained to Migration Minister in Athens.

Around 900 people, mainly families with children, refused to be housed in the same camp with Arabs after they were reportedly attacked for not fasting during Ramadan.

Concerned about their safety, they moved out of Moria camp and refused to return or even be relocated to Kara Tepe municipality camp.

Immediately as the problem arose, refugees assisting NGOs started to set up makeshift shelters, for the hundreds of people in need of food, water, housing.

However, the new shelters have been set up in public spaces like the premises of the former Children’s Hospital PIKPA or private space like in Evergetoula without permissions by the local authorities, that had in fact refused to issue such permissions.

One shelter was set up in a football pitch and now hosts more than 350 people.

Living conditions in these make-shirt shelters is described as catastrophic.

One of the shelter is hosting 600 people who reportedly share 4 toilets while there are no showers.

Being vehemently against the makeshift shelters, local authorities filed official reports to Migration Minister, Dimitris Vitsas, and even called for the prosecutor’s intervention.

Lesvos Mayor, Spyros Galinos, filed against the “defacto creation” of new camps “without previous information and “in contrast to relevant decisions of the City Council”

“These unilateral actions shake up our trust and force us to radical actions in order to secure peace and social cohesion,” Galinos said in another post on Twitter. He added that the Municipality will not allow these makeshift camps. For one more time he called on authorities in Athens to proceed with measures for the overcrowded refugee and migrants camps not only on Lesvos but also on the other islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea.

So far, there has been no reaction in Athens.

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  1. Shame! It is the Kurdish people suffering again because they are not Muslim. They are being discriminated against. The camp is on Greek soil. Tell the Muslim community they have to tolerate other people and that includes the Kurds.

  2. WELL said Joan. This should not be tolerated at all. What is this ??? Ramadan and religion cult above humanity ???
    Seriously ?

  3. Kurds are about 98% Muslim, so religious differences have nothing to do with this fight. Kurs have their own language and culture however. It may be that these differences triggered the fight, or the fights may have just been a human reaction to the stresses of being jammed together in inhumane conditions for more than two years (for many camp residents). Whichever, these fights should not be used as an excuse to scapegoat Muslims, again.