Another 604 migrants sent to Greek mainland ahead of deportation

Another 604 migrants were transferred from the Greek islands of Samos, Chios and Lesvos to closed facilities on the mainland on March 20. They will be sent back to their countries of origin.

These migrants reached the Greek islands after Turkey opened its borders on 28 February. In response to the move from Turkey, Greece blocked migrants from crossing the border, suspended the asylum procedure for all new arrivals and vowed to deport them.

Before processing and deportation, migrants are being held in “unacceptable conditions,” according to Human Rights Watch. The authorities are allegedly holding them “in the open in cold temperatures, denying their right to seek asylum and preventing them from getting the humanitarian and legal assistance they need and are entitled to,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The recent transfer comes after over 450 irregular migrants had been sent to a facility centre in the north of Athens the previous week, ahead of deportation.


TMP _ 25/3/2020

Photo credit: Ververidis Vasilis

Photo caption Thessaloniki, Greece – Sept 3, 2019: Refugees and migrants disembark to the port of Thessaloniki after being transfered from the refugee camp of Moria, Lesvos island.