Residents on Lesvos, Chios Clash With Police Over New Migrant Camps



Hundreds of residents on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios clashed with police in the early hours of Tuesday as they attempted to prevent the arrival of riot police and excavating machines to be used to build new migrant detention camps.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds which had gathered in the hopes of preventing the ships carrying the equipment from docking.

Clashes in the port of Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, lasted for about two hours. Hundreds of residents were repelled by riot police who arrived from the mainland of Greece to reinforce the police force already stationed on the island.

Similar unrest occurred at the port of Chios, where Stamatis Karmatzis, the mayor of the island, was injured during the clashes and rushed to the local hospital for treatment.

Posted by Εφημερίδα Πολίτης on Monday, February 24, 2020

The government maintains that it will move ahead with its plans to build the new facilities on appropriated land, and has promised to replace the existing camps, where conditions of severe overcrowding have worsened in recent months.

Many island residents and the local authorities vehemently oppose the plan, arguing that the migrants and asylum seekers should instead be moved to the Greek mainland.