Freedom of the press?

The refugee crisis has been forgotten long time ago by the press. Teams and organizations on the ground has been screaming for more press coverage for years, and when they finally get it, they try to hinder them from doing their job, quite ironic.

We can all agree that some journalists can be ruthless, doing whatever it takes to get a good shot. Also there is the issue of exploiting vulnerable people to media exposure.

Most journalists is just trying to do their job, in a professional and considerate way. They have a permit from Greek government, and are not to be hindered by individual volunteers or NGO’s, unless they are interfering ore hindering ongoing operations.

To try to stop the free press, who is just doing their job, must either come from stupidity or ignorance. Media coverage is what we have been screaming for for years, it’s what this crisis needs. Higher media attention puts more pressure on governments, more volunteers on the ground, and more needed donations to organizations.

Today a French TV crew was hindered from doing their job on Lesvos. It’s not the first time organization has tried to stop the free press from doing their job, and most likely not the last.

Organization on the ground has no authority to hinder journalists from doing their job, they are not in charge, even do some organization act as they are. I urge coordinators from these organizations to talk to their volunteers, so that there is no miss understanding in what role they are playing.

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Transparency is fading

For some unexplained reason, Greek government has stopped publishing arrival, transfer and population data from the Greek Aegean Islands. For two weeks there has been no updates. This can of course be some kind of technical problem, but no information on such problems has been posted. So what other reason can be the cause of this, if not technical incompetence?

What we do know is that arrivals is rapidly increasing, population on the islands is higher than ever, and transfers to mainland is historically low. Is the intention to hide these facts?

ABR has made several attempts to get some kind of answer from the General Secretariat for Information and Communication, but they chose not to communicate at all..