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Greek border guards ‘detained, sexually assaulted, robbed and stripped’ refugees

Greece orders coronavirus lockdown of all migrant camps on Aegean islands

A RIGHTS organisation has accused Greece’s security forces of committing a wide range of abuse on refugees and blasted the European Union for praising the country’s border control measures.

Human Rights Watch said today that Greek security forces have “detained, assaulted, sexually assaulted, robbed and stripped asylum-seekers and migrants” before forcing some back to Turkey.

“The European Union is hiding behind a shield of Greek security-force abuse instead of helping Greece protect asylum-seekers and relocate them safely throughout the EU,” said Nadia Hardman, a refugee-rights researcher and campaigner at Human Rights Watch.

“The EU should protect people in need rather than support forces who beat, rob, strip and dump asylum-seekers and migrants back across the river.”

The day after a six-year-old child and two others died in a fire at the overcrowded Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, the Greek government put all migrant camps on lockdown today.

The Migration Ministry said all “visits by individuals and organisations are suspended for at least 14 days.”

The Norwegian Refugee Council warned the EU on Monday that the continent’s coronavirus outbreak could decimate refugee communities.

“As world leaders brace for the worst within their borders, they must not abandon those living outside them. We must turbocharge our humanity and stand in international solidarity with refugees and displaced people during this time of widespread uncertainty.”

Last week, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) called for the immediate evacuation of migrants and asylum-seekers from the camps on the Greek islands.

MSF warned that “it would be impossible to contain an outbreak in such camp settings in Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos. To this day, we have not seen a credible emergency plan to protect and treat people living there in case of an outbreak.”

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