Po­lice beefed up at Elliniko cen­ter

Evac­u­a­tion of mi­grants to be moved for­ward af­ter brawl leaves Afghan man dead

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Author­i­ties beefed up the po­lice pres­ence at a re­cep­tion cen­ter for refugees at the site of the old Athens air­port in Elliniko yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a brawl that left an Afghan man dead.

Ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses, the man was stabbed and beaten dur­ing a fight with other Afghans on Thurs­day night. He died a few hours later at the Asklip­ieio Hospi­tal in nearby Voula, with doc­tors say­ing that he had suf­fered mas­sive head in­juries. An­other two mi­grants suf­fered mi­nor in­juries.

Com­ment­ing yes­ter­day, Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy Min­is­ter Yian­nis Mouza­las con­ceded that over­crowded con­di­tions at the cen­ter – where some 3,500 peo­ple sleep in tents and sleep­ing bags – have fu­eled ten­sions. He said author­i­ties planned to move the mi­grants to three new camps in At­tica and Vi­o­tia, prob­a­bly within the next 10 days. How­ever, at a meet­ing of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials on Thurs­day evening, just hours be­fore the brawl at Elliniko, the con­sen­sus had been that an­other makeshift camp for mi­grants at Pi­raeus should be evac­u­ated first.

The sit­u­a­tion at Elliniko is in­creas­ingly tense, with many fam­i­lies telling aid work­ers that they fear for their safety as brawls are an al­most daily oc­curence. Ten­sions have also peaked at other camps across Greece, most re­cently at a cen­ter on the Aegean is­land of Leros.

Mean­while an in­creas­ing num­ber of mi­grants are seek­ing to leave Greece, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion, which runs a repa­tri­a­tion pro­gram. Since the be­gin­ning of this year, 3,432 mi­grants have been re­turned to their home coun­tries un­der the IOM’s pro­gram.

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