Protesting Refugees, Migrants Tangle With Police on Greek Island of Lesbos

February 4, 2020

MORIA, Lesbos – More violence erupted at the vastly overcrowded refugee and migrant camp on the island of Lesbos, holding nearly 20,000 people in a space designed for about 3,000, when protesters clashed with police as tension keeps rising there.

The trouble erupted, said Kathimerini, when police squads tried to keep some 2,000 protesters from the Moria camp from reaching the capital Mytilini, detainees unhappy about living conditions that human rights groups said are inhumane.

The refugees and migrants are also getting more frustrated over delays in asylum applications that can take up to two years or longer to process with Greece complaining of getting too little help from the European Union, which closed its borders to them.

Media on the island said police used tear gas to disperse groups of protesters trying to break through a cordon set up on the main road leading from Moria to Mytilini and that clashes were continuing as the march pushed forward to reach the island’s capital.

There’s constant trouble and violence in the camp between ethnic groups squashed together with Greece overrun with about 100,000 refugees and migrants, including about 50,000 on islands.

The New Democracy government said it would move about 20,000 to mainland camps but island officials and residents are upset over the slow pace and unhappy that camps could be replaced with detention centers aimed at vetting those deemed ineligible for sanctuary.


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Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

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