Greek authorities must ensure that refugees and migrants expected to start being evacuated from three Elliniko camps on Tuesday, are provided with safe, adequate, alternative housing, Amnesty International said in a press release on Monday.
“Whilst no one will mourn the closure of these uninhabitable, unsafe camps, the failure to provide people living there with information about their imminent removal has only served to increase their fears and anxieties,” said Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International’s Regional Campaigner.
“There has been no consultation with Ellinko residents who have been kept in the dark as to when and where they will be moved to. The authorities must urgently guarantee that no one will be rendered homeless or placed at risk as a result of the closure. Safe and secure adequate alternative housing which takes account of the particular needs of women and girls must be made available,” she said.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, an Amnesty International member said: “All NGOs active in Elliniko were asked to leave the area, except the two that provide medical help.”
Sources from the ministry of Migration Policy denied the report on an imminent evacuation, saying that authorities will instead begin an “information campaign for the people who live in Elliniko,” adding that “misinformation doesn’t help in the real handling of the issue.”
Amnesty International had requested to visit the camps between 21 and 23 May but was refused, however its researchers managed to interview residents outside the camp.
One Afghan man told Amnesty International: “They don’t give us information, which creates a lot of anxiety...They want to confuse us so that we cannot decide and they’ll decide for us.”
An Afghan woman said: “We talked with everyone but no one tells us anything. I am really worried about ending up on the street”.