Statement On Announced Closure Of PIKPA Camp

Statement On Announced Closure Of PIKPA Camp

SAVE PIKPA - SAVE DIGNITY

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.

Pikpa camp is an open, community-run place where some of the most vulnerable refugees in the island are hosted. For years, many actors have come together in Pikpa camp to support some of the most vulnerable people in the island. The news of the planned closure of Pikpa camp comes after the earlier announcement by the government that Kara Tepe camp, also accommodating vulnerable people, must be closed by the end of December.

Save Dignity - Save Pikpa

We Reiterate

As long as Europe and the Greek government refused to provide dignified accommodation and reception to refugees, we will keep defending Pikpa, now more than ever. This is not a struggle to defend a place. This is a struggle to defend solidarity, dignity, equality and inclusion. This is a struggle to resist the toxic agenda of segregation, containment, degradation, repression, xenophobia and hate. We know that we can count on support from all across Europe - across organisations, institutions, politicians and individuals - and we will mobilise this support with all our power.

The situation in Lesvos over the last years has made life unbearable for asylum-seekers but has also put huge pressure on the people from the island. In the news, Minister Mitarakis referred to a request by the local community to close Pikpa. We repeat that from the start, the aim of all groups operating in Pikpa has been to support the local community, as well as refugees. We support Lesvos citizens in times of economic crisis, we support the local health infrastructure (even more in COVID times). At several emergencies, we were asked by the authorities to host people, to not have people sleeping in the streets in the city, to give them a safe space. We always stepped in to support.

Decongestion of the island is the only solution, combined with keeping up capacity to receive people in dignified accommodation like Kara Tepe, Pikpa and existing apartments for the people who newly arrive in the island. The new, inhumane camp is unacceptable.

The protection, safety and well-being of the residents at Pikpa camp is the first priority. Pikpa residents should be transferred to a safe and dignified place, which is not the new camp. They should be treated with dignity and with respect for their extremely vulnerable situation.

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