Asylum Seekers Shot After Breaking Greek Migrant Camp Quarantine

MYTILENE, GREECE - OCTOBER 16: Migrants look through security fencing at the Lesbos to Athens ferry leaving port. Many migrants wait in hope that the ferry will one day be their passage to mainland Europe and escape from the Morira Refugee Camp on October 16, 2019 in Mytilene, Greece. Moria …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Two asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos were shot and hospitalised with minor injuries after they violated quarantine measures put in place to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The two migrants, an Iranian and an Afghan national, were taken to a local hospital after they had reported being shot by an unknown assailant in the vicinity of the infamous overcrowded Moria migrant camp, with no suspects arrested in connection with the incident so far.

The two migrants told police officers that they had left the migrant camp, a violation of the strict quarantine measures put in place recently by the Greek government that requires migrants in all of the country’s migrant facilities to remain inside the camps, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Greek authorities announced earlier this week that at least 150 migrants have tested positive for the Chinese virus in a hotel in the south of the country, while some groups are warning that the overcrowded island camps are not prepared for an outbreak of the virus.

The NGO Human Rights Watch has demanded the Greeks put more resources into preventing the spread of the virus in the camps.

Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch claimed that the conditions in the camps were so poor that “Even handwashing and social distancing are impossible in these circumstances.”

Greece has attempted to alleviate some of the overcrowding on the islands in recent weeks, transferring around 2,000 migrants, primarily elderly and those with chronic diseases, to the Greek mainland in the last month.

While the number of migrants on attempting to cross into Greece has declined substantially since Turkey closed its gates over coronavirus fears, some in the Greek government have expressed concern that a new wave of migrants may be headed for their country.

Earlier this week, newspaper Proto Thema reported that the Greek Ministry of National Defense believed that the Turkish government was preparing to flood islands in the northern Aegean with migrants, including those infected with the coronavirus.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has previously stated that when the coronavirus pandemic ends the Turks would not deter migrants wanting to return to the border region.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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