Refugees take Syriza occasion place of job in Lesbos


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Mytilene, Lesbos Island, Greece – When 17-365 days-frail Karime Qias, an Afghan refugee, arrived in Greece’s Moria refugee camp two months relief, she felt as if she had arrived in penal advanced.

Along with her mother and seven siblings, she shared a flimsy tent with strangers.

« The amenities were not hygienic, and the food become not suitable for eating, » she says, sitting within the kitchen of a Syriza occasion place of job in Mytilene.

Qias is one in all 34 refugees and migrants who own occupied the native place of job of Syriza, Greece’s ruling left-flit occasion, to notify despicable residing cases asylum seekers endure in Moria and completely different camps.

Local anti-fascist and team spirit activists helped the community within the planning and occupation of the constructing, and the demonstration has prolonged two weeks.

« For the reason that food in Moria become not suitable for eating, we repeatedly suffered from vomiting, diarrhoea and fixed dehydration, » Qias says. « After we would traipse to the physician, the physician would say the entire lot is okay. »

Constructed to accommodate some 2,000 other folks, extra than 6,000 refugees and migrants currently are residing in Moria, on the eastern portion of Lesbos Island.

Rights groups and again organisations own decried the camp’s decrepit residing cases, calling on the Greek authorities to pass asylum seekers to the country’s mainland.

After a fortnight within the overcrowded camp, violent clashes between Arab and Afghan refugees triggered Qias, her family and dozens of completely different refugees to pass away.

« All through the first fight we observed, sixteen of us were in a tent made for eight other folks, » she says, explaining the conflict become one in all 10 fights for the length of her time there.

« It become an enormous fight, and moreover they were throwing rocks. The authorities perceived to not desire to enact something else. »

After they left, dozens of refugees and migrants predicament up tents in Sappho Sq., a central station in Mytilene, for extra than a month to notify unsafe cases in Moria.

Several went on hunger strike for the length of that length.

‘Treating other folks adore animals’

On November 25, police evicted the refugees from the sq. after failing the persuade them to pass to a remote station originate air of town.

All through that incident, the protesters say police officers struck members of the community and hurled racist insults as they pushed them out.

The refugees furthermore accuse native authorities, including the mayor and deputy mayor, of stoking xenophobia.

They’re treating other folks adore animals and slaves and in a truly dehumanising methodology. We didn’t advance to Europe to be imprisoned … and don’t own any company. Or not it is every human’s heavenly to own alter of their choices.

Karime Qias, Afghan refugee occupying Syriza place of job

Lesbos Mayor Spiros Galinos, who has urged the authorities to switch asylum seekers to the mainland, led a strike in opposition to the presence of refugees on the island on November 27.

At the time of newsletter, native police had not answered to Al Jazeera’s assign a question to for a commentary.

Following the eviction from Sappho Sq., the asylum seekers, largely Afghans and Iranians, marched through the metropolis earlier than at closing storming and occupying the native Syriza place of job.

Karime Qias came to Greece within the autumn of 2017 [Patrick Strickland/Al Jazeera]

They issued a observation stressful the release of a refugee who become arrested for the length of the Sappho Sq. altercation and known as on the Greek authorities to lift geographical restrictions that confine the asylum seekers to islands.

They furthermore demanded lodging in Athens for the length of their asylum software direction of.

« They’re treating other folks adore animals and slaves and in a truly dehumanising methodology, » Qias adds. « We didn’t advance to Europe to be imprisoned … and don’t own any company. Or not it is every human’s heavenly to own alter of their choices. »

Syriza came to energy in January 2015 after campaigning on a left-flit programme that incorporated overhauling the country’s migration insurance policies.

But, the occasion has advance below fire since happening of job for reneging on promises and complying with a March 2016 EU-Turkey deal to stem the drift of refugees to Europe.

Extra than 60,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece due to the that settlement and border closures all around the Balkan predicament.

‘Till the doorways of Moria shut’

Syriza’s Lesbos branch has decried the takeover of its headquarters as « adventurous ».

In a observation, the occasion accused the protesters of strengthening « xenophobic and racist voices » which had been stoking anti-refugee sentiment on the island.

« This vulgar angle of this limited community of refugees would not replicate, and much extra would not replicate, the thousands of peaceful refugees and immigrants on our island, » the observation learn.

The Greek authorities must be held responsible for turning this rather island right into a concentration camp for refugees

Arash Hampay 

Arash Hampay, a 32-365 days-frail Iranian refugee and the community’s spokesperson, says there are two predominant causes they determined to take Syriza’s place of job.

« Originally, it is the hall of the ruling occasion, and it is that this authorities’s dwelling, » he tells Al Jazeera within the squat.

Arash Hampay is one in all 34 refugees occupying Syriza’s place of job in Lesbos [Al Jazeera]

« Secondly, dirty European insurance policies created these cases for refugees, and it is the ‘leftist’ authorities of Greece that is enforcing these insurance policies, » he adds.

« The Greek authorities must be held responsible for turning this rather island right into a concentration camp for refugees. »

Hampay says no again groups or human rights organisations supported the refugees, including the hunger strikers, for the length of the month-lengthy Sappho Sq. notify.

One German flesh presser did traipse to them, nonetheless, but urged them to fair bring collectively the very fact that Europe has closed its borders.

Hampay says he answered: « If Europe desires to shut its borders, can it furthermore shut down the fingers factories that develop refugees as neatly? »

Although Hampay has asylum in Greece, his brother is soundless confined to Lesbos while asylum authorities direction of his software.

Even supposing his brother is granted permission to pass away the island, he says, « I will cease here unless the doorways of Moria are in a roundabout design closed. »


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