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The Devastating Refugee Crisis On Greek Islands

by , The Huffington Post, 07/17/2015

Every night, some 1,000 refugees arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos, many cramped on rubber dingys carrying 35 to 45 people each. More than half of them fled Syria, others left violence-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.

After making it safely onto Lesbos’ shores, for many refugees, a harsh reality check awaits. The number of migrants arriving on the Greek island in hopes of finding safety and a better life in the European Union has risen dramatically in the past year, but the island lacks the resources to accommodate them properly.

A migrant family rests in the Kara Tepe transit camp in Lesbos, Greece.

New migrants usually arrive on the island’s northern shore and need to make their way 40 miles south to the transit camps, where they stay up to ten days before moving to a detention center to be registered. Some of the transit camps, however, lack adequate water or sanitation facilities as well as organized garbage collection, Kirk Day of the International Rescue Committee told The Huffington Post in an email. He added that the sites’ residents are exposed to communicable diseases and injury infections. Some migrants arrive with diarrhea, deep cuts or open wounds that are left untreated in the camps. Those in need of medicines for heart problems and diabetes often have to wait for supplies.

Faced with a crippling economic crisis, Greece’s government in Athens has been unable to provide the migrants on the island with the necessary assistance and the United Nations has urged other countries of the European Union to step in. In the meantime, it is often left to local residents, activists and aid organizations to fill the gap.

UK Hunger Strike Continues Over Refugee Detention Centersrmondsworth Detention Center: Asylum seekers’ hunger strike spreads

[As hundreds of millions of workers and peasants are driven by hunger, desperation, oppressive conditions and displacement to migrate in search of livable and workable conditions, governments worldwide stigmatize, harass, and force into desperate lives, all the better to divide the working class, heighten xenophobia, and exploit in slave-like conditions.  In the UK, migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers are rounded up and stuffed into detention centers–prisons, by all estimates.   But the migrants have organized and waged collective protests, as prisoners do, because “where there is oppression, there is resistance.”  Here is a report on the huge hunger strike in centers across Britain. — Frontlines ed.]
Source: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Hunger-Strike-Continues-Over-UK-Refugee-Detention-Centers-20150319-0034.html.
http://www.teleSURtv.net/english, 19 March 2015   

 

Harmondsworth detention center, from where up to 100 detainees were deported to Pakistan this week.

Harmondsworth detention center, from where up to 100 detainees were deported to Pakistan this week. | Photo: AFP

The protests began last week, and have spread across several detention centers around the country, with hundreds of refugees reported to be taking part.

Migrants across the United Kingdom continued hunger strikes Thursday in protest against the horrendous treatment of asylum seekers in detention centers.

According to asylum seeker advocacy group Detained Voices, which records stories of the experiences of refugees in detention centers, a number of refugees were sent back to their home countries Wednesday. A source, known only as “Chowdery,” told RT that detainees were calling  for the cancellation of a deportation flight to Pakistan, while another said that 100 asylum seekers were due to be deported.

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Across Europe, Police Stalking, Brutalizing, Jailing Migrants

Amid Racist Raids&Police Violence Against Poor Migrants, Thousands Protest Fortress Europe’s Concentration Camps
10/19/2014