In response to the defamatory announcement issued by the Municipality of Mytilene on 12/3 for the PIKPA area, Lesvos Solidarity issued the following Press Release.
EVICTION OF PIKPA CAMP: a massive and unannounced Police operation took place to move the 74 residents, including 32 children, in order to evict Pikpa camp. “It is unacceptable and absurd that a place like Pikpa is forced to close” said Efi Latsoudi, Legal Representative of Lesvos Solidarity, “while Greek and European governments are supporting and promoting the new inhumane, degrading camp Moria 2.0”
The vulnerable residents of PIKPA camp are in danger due to their transfer to the new temporary camp in Kara Tepe. The premises of the former PIKPA camp in Neapoli Lesvos was offered in 2012 by the Municipality of Lesvos to the residents of the city for hosting refugees, who wereat the time living in the streets of Mytilene or the city’s port. Since then, it has operated as an open, model camp for facilitating the most vulnerable refugees and a sylum seekers, providing them with a safe place, psychosocial support and dignified living conditions.
At a time when a new, inhumane camp was re-constructed in Lesvos after a huge fire destroyed Moria camp, all dignified alternatives for accommodating refugees are under attack. The Greek minister for Asylum and Migration Mitarakis announced in the press on Wednesday that the government will close Pikpa camp by the end of October.
The fire that largely destroyed Moria camp in Lesvos is a direct result of the cruel policies of Greece and Europe. For years they have kept people trapped and abandoned in overcrowded island camps in Greece.
Lesvos Solidarity, together with the people who support it, in the context of the effort to strengthen the public health system, offered medical and health equipment to the health structures of the island.
On 16 July 2018, following a hearing at the court of Mytilene and an inspection of the PIKPA refugee camp, an application for interim measures against the camp was rejected. The application was submitted by 5 hotel owners and 2 individuals both in the Neapoli area of Mytilene, and referred to risks of lost profits, environmental degradation, risks to public health and detrimental effects on the quality of life in the area. The Municipality of Lesvos as well as the Lesvos Hoteliers Association supported the application for the interim measures.
Lesvos Solidarity reacts to the reports regarding the announcement by the Region of North Aegean to close down the open, self- organised space of PIKPA in Neapoli due to the report by the Hygiene Service, which considers it dangerous to public health and the environment.