Amnesty International Asks Tsipras to Fix Lesbos Refugee Center

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

While some 20 human rights groups, activists, NGO's and advocates for refugees and migrants living in dire conditions in Greek detention centers have been largely ignored, Amnesty International joined them, sending an open letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asking him to have the camps made fit for humans.

Amnesty's Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo urged the Radical Left SYRIZA leader to step in to make sure the camps and centers on Lesbos, Samos and Chios are bettered although he said he was “proud” of conditions that included people living among feces and garbage.

While describing the residents of Lesbos in particular as a “beacon of solidarity and inspiration,” Naidoo said he was anxious about “the devastating situation” of migrants. “I witnessed firsthand how people, even pregnant women and babies, have to sleep in cold, dirty and overcrowded tents,” Naidoo wrote, fearing the onset of winter would make their lives even desperate.

He blamed a suspended swap deal between the European Union and Turkey to stop human smuggling to Greek islands although the flow, while much less, still goes on other European countries have closed their borders to the refugees and migrants and reneged on promises to help take some of overload.

He also stressed that the problem was a European-wide. “The situation on Lesbos is a scar on the conscience of Europe,” he wrote but so far he's been ignored too.