Police in Greece have arrested two of many migrant helpers they accuse of inciting migrants to chaos and violence.
Police on the Greek island of Chiros have arrested a pro-migrant no borders activist who they say was trying to stir up trouble and create chaos. The so called “migrant helper” gave out misinformation to migrants in an attempt to counter an operation by Greek authorities.
The Greek government had planned to relocate 200 migrants to the neighbouring island of Leros. Police say that the accommodations on Leros contained much better conditions for the migrants to live in, Die Welt reports.
As the police were trying to inform the residents of the camp in Chios that they were to leave to go to new accommodations in Greece the migrant activists told the migrants something very different. The helpers claimed that the police were in fact planning on deporting the migrants back to Turkey.
This informations was given just as the migrants had gotten on board the ships to make their journey. Many of the migrants jumped off the ships and fled. Only around 39 of the 200 migrants who were supposed to go to Leros actually made it there.
The activists also shouted to the migrants to follow them to the Greek city of Patras where they hope to smuggle migrants to Italy via boat. The police arrested two of the activists though they said that seven of them participated in the incident in total. The activists are said to have come mainly from Germany and Britain.
The actions of left wing activists has frustrated attempts by the Greek government to get a handle on the migrant situation in the country. The “no borders” group in particular has been agitating migrants in the country since the closure of the Macedonian border.
The group has been particularly active on the border town of Idomeni which lies on the Macedonian border. Clashes broke out a few weeks ago when the activists informed migrants that the Macedonian government had made plans to allow entry to all migrants and effectively close the border.
The migrants massed and were met with a fortified border and confronted by border guards. The border security fired tear gas into the crowds after they would not disperse. The entire conflict was caused by a leaflet passed around to migrants by the no borders group.
The same activists may have been directly responsible for several deaths because of their actions in Idomeni. Several migrants drowned in a river after receiving maps from the activists which directed them to cross a river that had swollen from heavy rainfall.
One of the migrants who died was a pregnant woman and the activists who were responsible have so far only been fined €250.
Despite their actions, the foreign activists remain in Idomeni and other migrant camps. Greek police have arrested some members but the activists continue to try and break migrants through the Macedonian border by handing them tools like bolt cutters and by repeatedly trying to incite the migrants to break through the borders.