The Greek government is taking the “pandemic excuse” even one step further. They have already kept all camps under lockdown for months, now they will close the camps for good. Children and families will be put behind barbed wire, in the new “prisons” on Lesvos and Chios.
Yesterday it was announced by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, that there will be built a fence around Moria, at a cost of 854.000 Euros, by a local contractor, due to be finished in only two months. Also land areas around the existing structure in Moria has been rented, to build this new closed structure, a prison for people seeking safety.
Many believe that it’s only a fence, shouldn’t be to problematic right.. But when we talk about guard towers, double fencing with a dead zone six meters wide, controlled entry-exit with cards and fingerprints, 24-hour surveillance system with cameras, baggage control systems and metal detectors, we are no longer talking about a camp, but a prison. Asylum seeker within these prison centers, will be treated as criminals who has committed serious offenses, and as prisoners, they will lose many of their basic rights.
The official number in Moria is 13.000 people, that would make this the biggest prison in Europe, housing not criminals, but children, families, vulnerable people seeking safety. The Greek right wing government is doing something that haven’t been done in Europe since the 1940s, funded and blessed by the EU..
Locals on the Aegean islands is once again stabbed in the back by their own government. They don’t want their islands to become prison islands, they have fought against the government on this many times before. Locals don’t want new camps, they don’t want bigger camps and they don’t want closed camps. They want people on their islands to be transferred to mainland, asylum applications processed, so that people can go on with their lives, because locals are desperate to go on with theirs.
The Greek government has tried to create closed camps for over a year, but EU was not willing to back it up with funding. EU wouldn’t fund it due to the fact that it would be inhuman to put asylum seekers and refugees behind bars. Now it seems like the attitude from the EU has changed. How we can treat people, who comes to us for help, so disgracefully, is beyond my comprehension..
Europe is on a dangerous course, values that we once held high seems to have been forgotten..