Fire Breaks Out at Refugee Camp on Greek Island of Samos



Fire at the camp on the island of Samos. Credit: Esaam Daod/ Twitter

The second fire in one week broke out in the refugee camp on Samos on Sunday evening. Reportedly, three containers were burned in the area that houses unaccompanied minors.

Authorities believe that the fires were intentionally set.

According to the Greek press, the fire has now been contained and the minors have been moved to a safe area.

Shortly before the fires, local health authorities had diagnosed 21 cases of Covid-19 among migrants and refugees at the camp.

On Tuesday, a different fire was set in the camp after two cases of the virus were recorded there.

Police later detained two men, one from Syria and one from Gambia, for inciting criminal activity.

Allegedly, the men sent out messages on WhatsApp and Facebook urging people to set fires in the camp.

This comes after a series of fires that destroyed Moria, a refugee camp in Lesvos, in early September.

Greek authorities have formally charged four men from Afghanistan with arson in relation to the fires at Moria. Additionally, two minors are believed to have been involved in setting the fires, but hey have not been charged.

The fires were reportedly set in response to coronavirus measures taken at the overcrowded camp. Conflict erupted at the camp after residents had tested positive for the virus and were asked to go into quarantine.

After Moria was reduced to ashes, many European nations pledged to support Greece during the refugee crisis. Germany even promised to take in more than 1,500 refugees from the Greek islands.

Some have argued that this response may lead refugees and migrants in camps on the Greek islands to set fires in hopes of leaving Greece and going to countries like Germany, a goal of many in the camps.