legalcentrelesvos.org | 1 November 2022
Legal Centre Lesvos Quarterly Report: July – September 2022
As the conditions worsen in Lesvos’ Reception and Identification Center in Lesvos (known as Mavrovouni RIC), the new Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC) in Vastria continues to be built with the full support of the European Commission, despite the multiple voices raised against its construction: away from sight in the middle of a forest. Vastria has come to represent the future policies of the European Union and Greek State; more construction, fences and walls for people, at the expense of nature. The wildfires that raged for nearly a week in Lesvos this summer and devastated the Vatera region of the island do not seem to concern those behind the rushed construction in Vastria camp, which is located in the middle of one of the biggest pine forests of the island. The transportation of construction materials for the camp often comes from mainland Greece in the night, under the guise of darkness, with a cohort of police overseeing their protection. It is evident that the State is very much aware of the thin ice it has been walking on, and the recent violent repression of demonstrations, protests, and even music concerts shows that the situation has reached a boiling point ahead of the upcoming national elections in Greece in 2023. From Moria to Mavrovouni, there were no improvements in the living conditions of these supposed reception and identification centers.
On the contrary, the inhuman and undignified reality that camp residents face are inherent in camps whose purpose is to concentrate people in fenced off areas, based on their nationality and legal status, for the sole purpose of categorising those who are ‘deserving’ of international protection, and those who are not. In the light of the existing conditions on Mavrovouni RIC, one can easily predict the future of the CCAC in Vastria.