Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Two dozen Pakistanis lean against the high fence that separates them from us and the outside world. They have been for several weeks stuck on the Greek island of Lesbos.
One of them says that inside things are difficult. “There are too many people here,” says the young refugee. “There is not enough food and space.”
Then a Greek guard comes running to the fence. “Please go,” he says. “You can not film, that’s forbidden.”
Since March 20, shortly after the agreement between the European Union and Turkey had come about refoulement of migrants, journalists are no longer allowed in the former hotspots. These places where refugees are collected have become prisons. Also Moriah, where the Pakistanis are imprisoned, turned into a camp where no one can go in and out.
Several aid organizations have withdrawn in protest against the detention. Occasionally, volunteers from the organizations that still are inside go to the main entrance to get coffee and sandwiches at a snack bar.
Some Spanish aid workers say they are not allowed to talk to the press. But Steven of Christian organization EuroRelief has no qualms. “It’s been so overcrowded and there are more people every day. Today again more than 300.”
And there are not enough social workers, says Steven. “There is frustration among the refugees. They are afraid and insecure and do not know what will happen. Also they are not told much, so as not to increase the tensions.”
Because there is tension inside, surely. Last week there were demonstrations of volunteers and activists who oppose the deal between the EU and Turkey. Also tomorrow morning they want to demonstrate as the first migrants will be returned to Turkey. This will be done with two Turkish ferries which already are in the port of Mytilini.
“We do not want to return to Turkey and not to Pakistan,” cries the Pakistani behind the fence. “But some say that we should go back.”
Calais ‘Jungle’: 129 unaccompanied children missing since refugee camp demolition. ‘This is simply not acceptable,’ said the charity Help Refugees UK: here.
Harsh truths behind child refugees fleeing war – alone: here.
Monday saw the first mass deportations of refugees from Greece to Turkey, beginning the implementation of the so-called EU-Turkey deal. At the beginning of March, the 28 European Union heads of government concluded a dirty pact with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to put an end to the influx of refugees into Europe once and for all. Now the ugly content of this deal has become visible. According to press reports, in the morning grey, police units collected 120 refugees from their beds in an internment camp on Lesbos, taking them to two small ferries, which then brought them to the Turkish port city of Dikili. The boats were “accompanied” by German, French, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian officers from the European border force Frontex: here.
With the sailing Monday of ferries packed with hundreds of refugees and migrants expelled from the Greek Aegean islands of Lesbos and Chios to the Turkish coastal town of Dikili, an international crime of historic dimensions has begun to unfold: here.