A rare look at life inside Lesbos' Moria refugee camp, the island prison

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Monday, October 22, 2018
A rare look at life inside Lesbos' Moria refugee camp, the island prison

Author: Daniele Hamamdjian | CTV News | 22 October 2018

LESBOS, Greece - The customs officer smiled when I told him why I was going to Lesbos. “It’s an old problem,” he said. “But, it’s still a problem,” I answered. He stamped my passport, laughed, and then told me to take a few [migrants] with me on my way back.

Moria refugee camp, Greece’s biggest, and arguably the most controversial camp in Europe, is located in Lesbos, a mere six kilometres from Turkey. From there, an unknown number have drowned trying to cross the Aegean Sea on inflatable dinghies, and some now trapped in Lesbos believe they might have been better off at the bottom of that sea. There are between 700,000 and 800,000 Rohingyas who have found refuge in Bangladesh in the past year. So why is there such a big deal surrounding the roughly 8,000 refugees and migrants waiting for asylum on a Greek island? The short and grossly unfair answer is, because it’s on European soil. You can leave the camp and walk 10 kilometres, as the migrants often do, and find yourself in front of a boutique hotel surrounded by islanders and tourists drinking ouzo and eating calamari. The contrast is hard to grasp -- just ask Doctors Without Borders who says the burnout rate among staff is the highest in the world. Read more>>>