For African migrants, Greek islands often become a dead end

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018
For African migrants, Greek islands often become a dead end

Author: Jannis Papadimitriou  | | 26 Decemeber 2018

On the Greek island of Samos, thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa feel trapped. They are disappointed with the long asylum procedures, leaving them in limbo in overcrowded camps amid horrid living conditions.

Cold air blows over the island of Samos and heavy rain hits the overcrowded refugee camp set up on the hills, just outside the islands' capital of Vathy. Suzan Camolonie from Cameroon is nervously walking around, trying to warm herself on this frozen winter day. 

"I am very sick and begging for help," she says, close to tears. In October, Suzan crossed to Samos island through Turkey and applied for asylum. She doesn´t want to elaborate on her state of health, but she reveals this much: "I have seen many different doctors in Samos, but no one could help me. Finally I had to undergo surgery in a small hospital not far away from here, I don't know if it was really successful... I feel sick all the time, I have strong pain all over my body, no one can help me I´m afraid."

Suzan is one of about 4,500 refugees and migrants stuck on the Greek island of Samos, just opposite the Turkish resort town of Kuşadası. Like most newcomers from Africa, Suzan is trying to survive in a provisional tent outside the official camp, which has already exceeded its capacity by six times. When rain comes through, she is freezing in her tent. "I am confronted with my own limits, I don´t know what to do," she says. Read more>>>