Greece, Lesvos: The writing was on the wall

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This is a compilation of key articles and documents setting out the history of the migrant crisis in Lesvos, Greece which is not new - it dates from at least 2002. They show the development of reception centres, detention centres and "open camps" and the deadly role of the Greek Coastguards (which continues this summer)

- Migration and state crimes: A critical criminological approach and case study of Greece (pdf) by Stratos Georgoulas (University of the Aegean). Examines the history of the Pagani detention centre and see p101 on the activities of the Coast Guard.

- Map "Pagani" in the middle of nowhere (link) and: "Images" (link)

- A Good Samaritan in Greece: Papa Stratis needs oxygen pumped to... (link): "He wears a dark blue cassock, a pony tail and leather sandals which complement his big grey-blue mischievous eyes and long bushy grey beard. He suffers from a chronic respiratory condition and has to be permanently connected by a tube to a tank that supplies oxygen directly to his lungs. Papa Stratis, along with other local volunteers in the village of Kalloni, has been helping refugees since 2007 through the NGO ‘Agkalia‘. In all these years he reckons that he has helped some ten thousand people, including a few locals fallen on hard times. But never before has he seen so many refugees looking for help."

- Lesvos mayor’s desperate plea for beds and electricity at new migrant detention centre is met with state indifference: Despite the creation of a new ‘welcome’ centre, immigrants from neighbouring Turkey “are just piled up at Mytilini port and exposed to the elements” (October 2014,, link)

- Migreurop report 2013: Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants (link)

- CoE: CPT Report: European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT): Public statement concerning Greece (2011, pdf): "Already in the report on its visit to Greece in 1997, the CPT expressed concern about the approach of the Greek authorities towards the detention of irregular migrants. The Committee made it clear that detaining irregular migrants “for weeks or even months in very poorly furnished and inadequately lit and/or ventilated premises, without offering them either the possibility of daily outdoor exercise or a minimum of activities with which to occupy themselves during the day, is unacceptable and could even amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. The reports on the 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 visits all paint a similar picture.."

- Greece's infrastructure struggles to cope with mixed migration flow (UNHCR, 2009, link)

- UNHCR alarmed by detention of unaccompanied children in Lesvos, Greece (2009, link)

- UNHCR delegation visits detention centre on Greek island, urges closure (2009, link): "PAGANI DETENTION CENTRE, Greece, October 23 (UNHCR) – A UNHCR delegation has called for a crowded migrant detention centre on the Greek island of Lesvos to be closed after visiting the facility with a senior government official.."

- Pro Asyl and Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants: »The truth may be bitter, but it must be told«: The practices of the Greek coast guard (2007, pdf): "We were able to glean the following patterns of serious human rights violations committed by the Greek coast guard from our interviews with refugees from a wide variety of countries of origin in and outside the detention centres in Chios, Samos and Lesbos."

- Statewatch coverage: Statewatch visit to the Pikpa Centre for asylum-seekers in Mytilene (April 2013) and: GREECE: FRONTEX activities on Mytilene, Greece: Attempt to take over "open" PIPKA migrant centre, "closed" detention centre set up - FRONTEX claim that families were not expelled from their rooms refuted (September 2013) and: Welcome to the European Union Visit to Moria First Reception Centre , Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf). Also Search for "Lesvos" in the Statewatch database.

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