20. September 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Thousands flee as blaze sweeps through Moria refugee camp in Greece“ · Kategorien: Griechenland · Tags:

Quelle: The Guardian

An estimated 4,000 people have been forced to leave the camp on Lesbos as strong winds fan the flames

Thousands of refugees detained at one of Greece’s biggest camps, on the island of Lesbos, have fled the facility amid scenes of mayhem after some reportedly set fire to it, local police have said.

Up to 4,000 panic-stricken men, women and children rushed out of the barbed-wire-fenced installation following rumours of mass deportations to Turkey.

“Between 3,000 and 4000 migrants have fled the camp of Moria,” a police source said, attributing the exodus to fires that rapidly swept through the facility because of high winds.

Approximately 150 unaccompanied minors, controversially housed at the camp, had been evacuated to a childrens’ village, the police source added. No one was reported to have been injured in the blaze.

But damage was widespread and with tents and prefabricated housing units going up in flames, the Greek channel Skai TV, described the site as “a war zone”.

The disturbances, it reported, had been fuelled by frustration over the notoriously slow pace with which asylum requests were being processed. A rumour, earlier in the day, that Greek authorities were preparing to send possibly hundreds back to Turkey – in a bid to placate mounting frustration in Germany over the long delays – was enough to spark the protests.

Some 300 migrants, who subsequently attempted to march on the island’s capital, were rounded up by police, according to local news sites.

Conditions in Moria and an estimated 50 detention centres elsewhere in Greece have been criticised by human rights groups as deplorable and depraved.

The increase in arrivals in recent months from Turkey – the launching pad for more than a million Europe-bound refugees last year – has added to the pressure on Greek authorities.

On Monday, the government announced that 60,352 refugees and migrants were registered in the country, essentially ensnared by the closure of borders along the Balkan corridor into Europe. Some 13,536 were detained on Aegean islands, including Lesbos which has borne the brunt of the influx.

The detention centre at Moria has a capacity to house no more than 3,000 but is now said to be holding almost twice that number following the uptick and amid fears of the EU-Turkey deal – agreed earlier this year to staunch the flows – being on the verge of collapse.

Brawls between rival ethnic groups at the camp has exacerbated tensions with fights regularly erupting between Afghan and Syrian detainees.

“None of them wants to go back to Turkey. And nor do they want to stay here. The whole point of making the journey is Europe and getting to some rich country there,” another police officer said.

Until recently, residents on Lesbos have exhibited unexpected levels of patience and compassion for refugees. But even that seems to be wearing thin.

On Monday, scores of irate residents in Moria, a village above the camp, marched through the town of Mytilene protesting against the prospect of a second detention centre being built in the area and denouncing the mayor, Spyros Galinos, as a traitor who had ignored locals in favour of the refugees. Lesbos, Greece’s third biggest island, is also among the poorest in a country, experiencing unprecedented social hardship on the back of its worst economic crisis in modern times.


siehe auch: Independent

Major fire breaks out at Lesbos refugee camp causing thousands to flee

Fire comes as camp becomes increasingly overcrowded and conditions deteriorate

Greek police have confirmed thousands of people have been forced to flee after a fire broke out at a refugee camp in Lesbos.

Volunteers at the Moria refugee camp said around 4,000 people were evacuated following the fire.

Lifeguards Hellas said the fire was now under control but they were still working to distribute water and help the families in total darkness.

No-one is believed to have been injured in the fire which damaged tents and prefabricated housing units.

Police are reportedly investigating claims that the fire was started deliberately in protest at the conditions at the camp.

There are a total of 5,400 migrants living in camps on the island which has the capacity to house around 3,500.

More than a million refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq have made the perilous crossing between Turkey and Greek islands such as Lesbos and Chios in a bid to claim asylum in Europe since last year.

Many migrants have attempted to leave the camps and travel north to wealthier countries such as Germany, France and the UK to claim asylum but their path is increasingly being blocked by tightened border controls by several European countries.

Last week, migrants in Lesbos staged two demonstrations in the island’s capital, Mytilene, where they demanded the right to travel to mainland Greece having been stranded for months, the Daily Mail reported.

Local mayor Spiros Galinos said the conditions in some of the camps were „particularly worrying and dangerous“.

He said his team had witnesses multiple fights between migrants at the Moria camp which led to „dozens“ of injuries.

According to data released by the Greek government there are over 13,000 people living in camps on the five main islands between the Greek and Turkish mainlines.

The Greek government has pleaded for help in dealing with the influx from other EU countries but other member countries are increasingly reluctant to intervene after the rise of far-right parties in their countries.

The success of groups like the far-right Alternative for Germany, which increased its vote share dramatically at the Berlin state elections at the weekend, has meant individual governments are increasingly in favour of abandoning the open-border Schengen Agreement.

The Swedish government has called for the EU to punish member states which fail to honour their pledges to accept refugees.

It has so far taken in around 163,000 asylum seekers over the past year – almost three times per capita than Germany whose population is eight times bigger.


siehe auch: ARD Tagesschau

Brand in Flüchtlingslager auf Lesbos: Tausende fliehen vor den Flammen

3000 bis 4000 Flüchtlinge sind wegen eines Feuers aus dem Flüchtlingslager „Moria“ auf der griechischen Insel Lesbos geflohen. Laut Polizei wurde das Feuer möglicherweise absichtlich gelegt. Verletzt wurde nach ersten Erkenntnissen niemand.

Wegen eines Feuers sind Tausende Menschen aus einem Flüchtlingslager auf der griechischen Insel Lesbos geflohen. „Zwischen 3000 und 4000“ Flüchtlinge hätten das Lager von Moria verlassen, sagte ein Polizeivertreter. Rund 150 Minderjährige, die in dem Lager untergebracht waren, wurden in eine Einrichtung für Kinder auf der Insel gebracht. Das Feuer konnte noch am Abend unter Kontrolle gebracht werden, verletzt wurde nach ersten Erkenntnissen niemand.

Die Polizei geht von Brandstiftung aus. Ein Polizeisprecher sagte der Nachrichtenagentur AFP, er habe „keinen Zweifel“ daran, dass das Feuer von den Bewohnern des Flüchtlingslagers gelegt wurde. Zur Ursache der Flammen kursierten zunächst unterschiedliche Angaben. Erst hieß es, Krawalle zwischen den Bewohnern des Lagers hätten zur Eskalation geführt. Am späten Montagabend berichteten griechische Medien dann, es habe Gerüchte über die drohende Abschiebung von Migranten in die Türkei gegeben, weshalb es zu Aufständen und Brandstiftung gekommen sei. Es habe keine Verletzten gegeben.

Gerüchte über drohende Abschiebungen

Bereits tagsüber hätten die Menschen gegen die vermeintlich drohenden Abschiebungen protestiert, am Nachmittag sei dann an verschiedenen Stellen inner- und auch außerhalb des Lagers Feuer gelegt worden, berichtete die griechische Zeitung „To Vima“. Zunächst seien deshalb rund 150 Minderjährige aus dem Lager gebracht worden. Später sei die Lage auf der Insel dann außer Kontrolle geraten und die mehr als 3000 Bewohner seien geflohen.

Viele machten sich Medienberichten zufolge auf dem Weg zur rund sechs Kilometer entfernten Inselhauptstadt Mytilini, in deren Hafen die Fähren Richtung Athen ablegen. Schon länger fordern die Flüchtlinge, auf das griechische Festland reisen zu dürfen, um den Zuständen im Hotspot zu entkommen, aber auch in der Hoffnung, sich von Athen aus weiter nach Mittel- und Nordeuropa durchschlagen zu können.

Kritik an prekären Verhältnissen

Das Lager „Moria“ gehört zu den größten des Landes. Schon in der Vergangenheit hatte es dort gebrannt, außerdem gab es immer wieder Zusammenstöße zwischen den Flüchtlingen. Menschenrechtsgruppen kritisierten in der Vergangenheit immer wieder die prekären Verhältnisse in den griechischen Aufnahmezentren, besonders auf Lesbos und anderen Ägäis-Inseln. So leben auf insgesamt fünf griechischen Inseln mehr als 13.000 Flüchtlinge, obwohl die Einrichtungen nur für knapp 8000 Menschen ausgelegt sind.

In Griechenland halten sich derzeit mehr als 60.000 Schutzsuchende auf. Die meisten von ihnen wollen aber weiter Richtung Deutschland oder in andere westeuropäische Staaten. Weil eine Reihe von osteuropäischen Ländern und Balkanstaaten aber mittlerweile die Grenzen geschlossen haben, ist ein Weiterkommen nahezu unmöglich.

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