Greece opens two more holding centres for migrants on islands
Two more immigration detention centers have been opened on the islands near Turkey as part of a stricter policy to control the flow of immigrants, which has been criticized by rights groups.
The conservative government announced in 2019 that it will close five camps on the Greek islands during the European migrant crisis. During this crisis, hundreds of thousands of people, mainly Syrian refugees, arrived from Turkey by inflatable raft.
It replaces them with so-called “closed control structures” funded by the European Union, featuring barbed wire fences, surveillance systems, and ID and fingerprint scanning at gates.
On Saturday, when the Kos and Leros centers were opened, immigration minister Notis Mitarachi said the move was “an important pillar of our rigorous and fair immigration policy.”
“We have finally put off the crisis that started in 2015. Neither crisis Greece I don’t want to relive Europe either. “
The first such facility will open in Samos in September, and the other two, Lesvos and Chios, will be ready next year.
Officials say camps will improve the living conditions of asylum seekers and reduce the burden of immigration crises on communities, but rights groups say. Greece rethink.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF), a medical charity, said they were “like a prison.”
The Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Predrag Mijatovic, told the Greek Minister in May that he feared that the closed nature of the camp would lead to long-term deprivation of liberty.
The five-island camp, founded in 2016, aimed to quickly identify asylum seekers and manage mass arrivals from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but with little success in processing numbers. It was immediately dangerously crowded.
Camps on Lesbos, Chios, and Samos were flooded with flimsy tents and olive groves infested with poor, often dangerous living conditions.
At the worst of November 2018, 20,000 people lived in camps aimed at accommodating about 6,000 people.
According to Mitarachi, the number of asylum seekers on both Kos and Leros has dropped from about 6,500 a year ago to less than 600.