medium.com | 20 July 2022
AYS Special from Greece: What is happening in the Mavrovouni camp on Lesvos?
Mavrovouni was established in 2020 after Moria famously burned down in a fire. It took the authorities six days to claim the former military site as a supposed “temporary” facility that was quickly built with the international support of UNHCR and some NGOs.
This camp is not a place that is generally in the media spotlight. It is however as bad as the previous detention facility on Lesvos was, the notorious Moria camp. Moria was well known for its dehumanizing conditions.
Mavrovouni is terrible in mostly different, more subtle ways. Not a lot is known nowadays about the situation at the camp. This is partly because of a lack of interest from the International press, but also because inhabitants are “heavily discouraged” from sharing information or footage from inside the camp.
Of course “heavily discouraged” means active oppression by security and police inside the camp through fines, intimidation but also outright abuse and violence. In addition, most of the “house rules” are unclearly stated and communicated, increasing the confusion.
Much like the new facility on Samos, for people with interests in maintaining and continuing the status quo it is important that the illusion of peace and security (“dignified”) of these facilities is upheld. With the construction of the new facility in a seemingly permanent limbo, it is likely to assume that this facility will be in use for the foreseeable future. As you will read in the article below, changes in policy are a daily occurrence and constructions are seemingly being made to make the camp more permanent.