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Citizens for Justice and Peace

Humanitarian groups warn of dire conditions at Greek asylum centres

06, Dec 2017

Greek officials have indicated that the number have asylum seekers coming from Turkey to the Greek islands of Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesbos and Samos has quadrupled, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said that the situation in the camps is “beyond desperate”. MSF’s project coordinator on Lesbos, Aria Danika, said “entire families…are packed into small summer tents, under the rain and in low temperatures struggling to keep dry and warm”. Danika said the mental health clinic sees many patients suffering from “acute mental distress, including many who tried to kill themselves or self-harm.” Officials from Samos, Lesbos and Chios, alongside protesters, congregated in Athens to call on the government to relocate people from the camps. The Greek government maintains that it is unable to act given an agreement between the EU and Turkey, which dictates that the asylum seekers flooding the islands must stay where they are until their requests are sanctioned. Recently, the government has moved several hundred migrants to Athens via ship. 

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