Press release

Moria is on fire: Evacuate refugee camps now!

News Image
Published on: 09.09.2020

Fire has destroyed Greece’s largest migrant camp, the overcrowded Moria facility on the island of Lesbos. The situation in the severely overcrowded camp in Moria which is hosting about 13,000 people has been broadly criticized for very poor living conditions. Since the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the camp on September 2, the number of infected people raised up to at least 35 people. The European Left calls for urgent evacuation of all Moria residents. Heinz Bierbaum, the president of European Left, comments:

“It’s horrific that the situation escalated to such an extent. We can’t remain indifferent! The EU is responsible for the escalation of the situation, it must act now and evacuate Moria”, comments Heinz Bierbaum.

The fire in the camp was preceded by refugees’ protest against their inhumane accommodation and inadequate measures to protect against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We cannot passively watch the justification of the enforced mass quarantine. In the overcrowded refugee camp there are elderly people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, children and mental health patients who are afraid and are being exposed to more traumas as a result of this policy. A proper public health response is needed as an attempt to tackle the crisis: massive testing, a serious boost to hygiene conditions and healthcare services that are easily accessible for all must be guaranteed. Those conditions cannot be met in the camp in Moria. Since months we’re alarming about scandalous living conditions in the camps on Lesbos. Especially under the pandemic we must stand in solidarity and leave no one behind. We need to evacuate the people as soon as possible”, Bierbaum said.

The European Left demands a removal of the Dublin Regulations and the establishment of legal and safe humanitarian corridors. We need a European solution which includes all EU Member States. The islands must no longer serve as a reception camp, where refugees are housed indefinitely under terrifying conditions. The European Left condemns the inhuman policies in relation to migrants. We propose reception policies for asylum seekers and refugees that are respectful of human rights and take into account the right to mobility and freedom of movement as everybody’s right!