AYS Special: Lesvos well beyond the brink (this is what we know so far)

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Sunday, March 1, 2020
AYS Special: Lesvos well beyond the brink (this is what we know so far)

Author: Douglas F. Herman | medium.com | 1 March 2020

Pressure Cooker

Ever since the Mitsotakis’s Nea Dimokratia (ND) government took power in July the severity of the refugee crisis on the north Aeagean islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros has exponentially exploded with 42,568 asylum seekers trapped on the islands. The numbers of new arrivals continue to grow at a rate faster than mainland transfers with obvious results- extreme overcrowding, dwindling resources and deplorable conditions. On Lesvos alone, over 21,000 refugees indefinitely endure inhumane conditions, and their numbers are dangerously close to equaling the local population within the capital region of Mytilini. The government response has not quickly “decongested” the island hot spots, as it repeatedly stated, and transfers to the mainland are easily outpaced by new daily arrivals. Rather than stabilizing an overwhelming crisis, Mitsotakis’s conservative government continues to push a highly controversial plan to develop closed detention centers on the very same islands, has embarked on a campaign to scrutinize NGOs for their humanitarian operations and recently used their majority to pass more restrictive asylum laws aimed at making it easier to reject, detain and deport asylum seekers without legal recourse. Read more>>>