Campaigners have criticized the “prison-like” conditions of a new asylum-seeking center in Greece.
Under EU-funded plans, Greek officials are opening a new multi-purpose reception and identification center (MPRIC) on the island of Samos on Saturday.
The center in Zvervau, a remote part of Samos, is one of many to process refugees and asylum seekers fleeing conflict zones in the Aegean Islands.
Around 500 people living in Vathy camp in Samos will be shifted to the new center from September 2.
The European Union and Greece said the new center would reform the illegal camps in which many refugees are currently living.
But campaigners said the new center looked like a prison.
Patrick Welland, field coordinator for MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in Samos, said the center was a disgrace.
He added: “How audacious is that when we look at what is happening in countries like Afghanistan, the European Union and Greece are busy inaugurating a new prison for asylum seekers on the island of Samos? Maybe barbed wire. There should be something shiny and new in between them but it can’t be sold as an improvement.”
Mr Weiland said: “This is the perfect example of how criminal the EU’s policy on migration is – capturing and detaining survivors of violence and punishing them to be safe. It is a disgrace.”
An MSF psychologist in Samos, who did not wish to be named, said: “For months, our patients at the MSF clinic in Samos come to their appointments for fear of being closed at the new center, feeling completely abandoned. and the helpless. For those who have survived torture, the new highly controlled center means not only the loss of freedom but the re-living of past traumatic experiences.”
The person said: “The majority of our mental health patients on Samos present symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Between April and August 2021, 64% of new patients arriving at our mental health clinic presented with suicidal thoughts and 14 % were at real risk of suicide.
“As psychologists working on the front lines of Europe’s strict migration policies, we see a decline in their mental and physical well-being on a daily basis. The opening of new prison camps is changing the collective identity of refugees, their self-esteem and Image: Their dignity. Europe is tearing them down.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /