October 24, 2021

Raven Tribune

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Greece: Controversial refugee camp opens in Samos

Status: 18.09.2021 6:10 pm

Wire fences, access restrictions, curfew: The government has opened a new refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos. Human rights activists have criticized the facility, calling it “inhumane.”

The Greek government has called the island of Samos a “closed center with restricted access” to house 3,000 migrants. The refugee camp is fenced and equipped with surveillance cameras, X-ray scanners and magnetic doors. It also has prison management and can only be accessed via an electronic chip.

According to the Greek media, people are allowed to leave the camp every day from 8am to 8pm – except when asylum applications are rejected and they are brought back to Turkey under the EU Refugee Agreement with Turkey. The doors are closed to everyone at night.

The European Union provided $ 276 million for the new building

The camp is located five kilometers from the former makeshift camp near the town of Vati and is one of five camps in the Aegean islands of Leros, Lesbos, Kos, Sioux and Samos. The European Union has provided 276 million euros for this facility. The camp in Samos will act as a pilot project for refugee camps on other islands.

Human rights groups criticize the new closed refugee camps. Restrictions on immigrants are very high. “We can only help our patients escape from this camp,” the advance aid organization Physicians Absence Borders (MSF) said.

A guard in front of containers at the newly established refugee camp on the island of Samos.

Image: dpa

High security camps are criticized by human rights activists

Millions of euros have been spent on building a facility to detain ‘criminals’ only for seeking help and stability. ”

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Prior to the opening, representatives of several NGOs and civil society called on the European Union and Greece to abandon plans to restrict refugees’ freedom of movement. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has also expressed concern.

Greece is fighting against the arrival of refugees

On the other hand, the Greek government points to better equipment in camps, for example running water, toilets, private spaces for families and more security. “The government is facing the issue of migration because of our commitment to the citizens,” said Migration Minister Notice Mitaragis.

Two years ago, 10,500 immigrants came to Samos, and this year there are only 111, Mitrakis says. “7,500 people stayed in the old camp last year and now 400 are about to move to the new camp.”

Greece reached the number of immigrants, especially through the strict control of maritime borders and the resettlement of people on the land. The country has been accused of illegal rejection of so-called “pushbacks”, but Athens denies this.

Verena Schälters, with information from ARD-Studio Athens