The leader of the community of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos has called on the government to do more to deal with the escalating tensions due to the migrant crisis, warning that citizens may try and take the law “into their own hands.”
The leader of the community in Moria, Nikos Trakellis, entered his third day on hunger strike on Wednesday when he revealed that the tensions caused by the influx of asylum seekers to Lesbos since 2015 were escalating dramatically, Greek newspaper Proto Thema reports.
“This does not go any further,” Trakellis said, adding: “From 2015 we live through the constant destruction of our village,” and that the sanitary facilities on the island were not able to handle the influx of migrants living at the camp in Moria.
“The sewage is poured into the nearby torrents and ends up in the sea passing through our property. Garbage everywhere, dirt and mosquitoes. Every concept of life in the village has been destroyed in regards to health and safety,” he said.
Lesbos: Europe’s Migrant Barrier Nears Breaking Point https://t.co/gA1JfPRuJQ
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Trakellis said that he has constantly argued with other government officials to get migrants out of Moria, and that there was a risk public feeling could boil over: “We are all being duped here and in Europe. They’re making fun of us. The residents are ready to take the law into their own hands. We are trying to contain the local community, to preserve whatever social cohesion is left.”
Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, the Moria camp has seen violence and riots, including in April 2016 when migrants set fire to the newly established camp. Later that year, the camp was set on fire again.
In April 2017, 35 migrants were arrested for clashing with police and throwing stones at officers.
Conditions within the camps for migrant women and children have also deteriorated, with the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, claiming earlier this year that both women and children were at severe risk of sexual violence in the camps from male migrants in Lesbos and the island of Samos.
Locals in Lesbos went on strike to protest the migrant situation in May, and a mob even attempted to overturn a police bus full of migrants.
It was also revealed that migrants now make up one in three inhabitants of the island.
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