05 June 2020
Lesvos Legal Centre documents some of the ways in which hostility is embedded into everyday life on the island of Lesvos.
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"LEGAL CENTRE LESVOS UPDATE: Police fines for migrants seeking legal aid, the prolonged lockdown on refugee camps, the detention of new arrivals in the Mytiline port (again), and government measures targeting organizations working with migrants are four recent threads in the Greek authorities’ growing hostility towards migrants and those working to support them.
Last week, the asylum services opened in Lesvos after two months’ closure due to COVID-19. During their closure, at least 1400 individuals were issued with first instance rejections to their asylum claims. If they wish to challenge this negative decision, which is their right, they are required to file an appeal within the first 10 days’ of the asylum services’ reopening.
The successful lodging of so many appeals is, in practical terms, impossible. Not only did the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) cap the number of people allowed to appeal at 100/day, which would require at least 14 days’ operation – four days over the deadline – to meet the need, but the practicalities of lodging an appeal further thwart individuals’ opportunities.
The lockdown continues for Moria refugee camp. Only 70 permissions to leave the camp are given per day, in addition to permission for those with medical appointments. This limited number of permissions is obviously insufficient in a camp of approximately 20,000 individuals who have various reasons to leave, in addition to seeking legal aid."
Hostility towards migrants and those working to support them continues as state policy in Lesvos (Lesvos Legal Centre, link)
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