Violence On the Rise in Greek Migrant Camps

Open Borders Activists
© AFP Sakis Mitrolidis

Across migrant camps in Greece incidents of violence, from assaults to stabbings, are escalating in number as inter-ethnic conflicts erupt.

Disputes between different nationalities in Piraeus, Idomeni and the island of Chios have led to a wave of violent attacks that have left at least six people injured. Arguments over loud music or over women have led to assaults and multiple stabbings from migrants who have been stuck in Greece since the Balkan migration route was closed three weeks ago.

Desperate to get across the Macedonian border to continue on to Germany, tens of thousands of migrants are on edge in a situation that at least one German official warned, could quickly spiral out of control and lead to high levels of violence.

In the port town of Pireaus where at least 6,000 migrants live in migrant reception centres and tents, Afghans and Syrians were at each other’s throats reports Die Welt. Greek media cited the Harbour police who said that at least eight people were injured, two of them seriously after they had been attacked with rocks and knives.

An Afghan allegedly molested a Syrian woman which caused the fight. The sex attack parallels the ever growing problem with migrant sex abuse attacks on women and children in Europe. The issue with migrant sex abuse is so rampant in asylum centres, a German official had to admit it was likely taking place in every asylum home.

The reaction from the Greek government following the fight is a plan to gradually disperse the migrants waiting in Piraeus and hopefully resolve inter-ethnic tensions by creating separate camps for each nationality in the hopes it will lead to calm.

In Idomeni, which has been the focal point for migrants given its proximity to the Macedonian border, even more violence erupted. In the makeshift camp another dispute broke out, once again between different nationalities of migrants.

During a celebration, one group of migrants objected to the choice of music another group started playing and tensions escalated to the point of several people being attacked with knives and stabbed leading to several being injured.

On the island of Chios migrants were angered when they were told by authorities that under the new EU-Turkey migrant summit agreement, they would be returned to Turkey. The migrants set upon the local coastguard after hearing the news and attempted to beat them so as not to be deported back to Turkey in coming days when the summit deal comes into effect on Monday.

Inter-ethnic conflict in the Middle East is often rooted in disputes that can be centuries or even thousands of years old. Europe is finding more and more often that these same conflicts are carried by migrants when they arrive in Europe.

A few weeks ago in Vienna two migrant gangs engaged in what was called a “gang war” over a simple argument on Facebook. In Germany Turkish-Kurdish conflicts have led to both violence and even a terrorist threat that closed the Turkish embassy in Berlin.


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