Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Thousands sleep in open after Greek refugee camp burns down

Thousands sleep in open after Greek refugee camp burns down

MYTILENE, Greece (AP) — Thousands of refugees and migrants have spent a third night in the open on the Greek island of Lesbos after two consecutive nights of fires in the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp left them homeless.
Some awoke Friday after sleeping by the side of the road, having cut down reeds and used salvaged blankets to make rudimentary shelters to protect them from the night-time chill and the scorching day-time sun. Others used tents or had just sleeping bags to protect them from the elements.
Greek authorities have said the fires on Tuesday and Wednesday evening were deliberately set by some of the camp’s residents angered by isolation orders issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after 35 residents were found to have been infected.
The camp had been under a lockdown due to last until mid-September after the first virus case was identified in a Somali man who had been granted asylum and left the camp but later returned to Moria from Athens.
“We have spent three days here without eating, without drinking. We are in conditions that are really, really not very good,” Freddy Musamba, a former camp resident from Gambia who denounced the situation in Greece and the conditions under which he had been living.
“I want to speak about the European Union, who abandoned us, who left us here like this,” Musamba said. He called for the EU “to come and support us, to not leave us. We are like abandoned children. We have endured things we didn’t know could happen.”
Aid organizations have long warned about dire conditions in the camp, which has a capacity of just over 2,750 people but was housing more than 12,500 inside and in a spillover tent city that sprang up in an adjacent olive grove.