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Air Transport Banned, Dutch Refugee Activists Try Boat to Lesbos

Αssociated Press

Migrants stand in a queue to embark a ferry upon their depart from Lesbos island for mainland Greece, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Panagiotis Balaskas)

A team of Dutch activists whose mission to land on Lesbos and bring some 200 refugees and migrants back to The Netherlands was ended when their plane was barred from landing were reportedly trying to get their by boat on Oct. 7.

That was according to a Tweet, said Kathimerini, by a man named Rikko Voorberg who said the team was preparing to board a ship at Piraeus.

A government official not named told the newspaper that the Greek and Dutch authorities were tracking the persistent activists who before had tried to come 

A Migration Ministry source also not identified said the activists are not part of any non-governmental organization (NGO) and have no right to enter a tent city on the island holding some 12,500 refugees and migrants.

The were relocated when the notorious Moria detention camp was burned in a protest against a quarantine aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 after an outbreak was discovered.

“We will move within the framework of the law and the good relations we have with The Netherlands,” the source said.

he activists to return with refugees and migrants and pressure their country's government to do more to help Greece, which is holding some 100,000 of them, almost all seeking asylum.

The Migration Ministry said that “a state cooperates with other states within a specific framework” and that “the bypassing of the institutionalized procedures can only be to the detriment of the refugees.” 

A ministry official said the rules must be followed. “There must be respect for the people who are seeking protection in Europe,” the official was quoted as saying. 

The first Greek-Dutch long-term shelter for unaccompanied minors on the Greek mainland was put into operation in late September of 2019 to help aid the plight of the refugees and migrants, including some 26,000 on five Greek islands.