17. April 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Pope in Lesvos: what he has not seen · Kategorien: Griechenland · Tags: ,

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Samstag, 16. April 2016

Pope visit in Lesvos yesterday and what he has not seen

 Todays visit from the Pope and the Patriarch spread a message of peace and brotherhood throught Lesvos.

Platanos Refugee Solidarity, Lesvos 
In order for this message to be well delivered, traffic was forbidden in many parts of the island and where permitted, police officers outnumbered civilians by far. Greek police evacuated the area around the port where the religious leaders and the Prime Minister gave a speech. They allowed entry only to local actors and to residents who seemed „quiet“, whilst blocking entry to people who either had participated in previous demonstrations, or they were considered suspicious for participation in today’s protest. Specifically, a solidarity member of Platanos with a journalist card was blocked to pass, while other journalists were entrying normally.
Four volunteers (of which two members of platanos) who managed to enter the harbor got arrested because they had brought in their bags two small banners proclaiming „Condemn the deal“. Later on, the police arrested 5 more activists who attempted to lift a banner, while outside the port the coastguard seized another banner from the protestors.
The whole 9 volunteers were detained for over 3 hours before letting them free without charges.
The hypocrisy of todays visit culminated in the detention centre of Moria, a place that was designed for 1500 people but now 3000 people are detained there in horrible conditions. Most of them are sleeping outside on the ground without even a blanket, without any care for the sick, the children or pregnant women. In order to prevent the Pope and the media from seeing this reality, authorities had hurriedly transported 1000 people to the reception centre of Karatepe and locked all the other detained refugees in the back. The visit took place at the front part of the centre, where authorities brought less only those refugees who had been chosen beforehand as they do not suffer the same terrible conditions as those stuck in Μoria .http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-lesbos-detention-centre-whitewashed-amid-last-minute-preparations-for-popes-visit-a6985781.html

In this way, the Pope met refugees who were carefully selected from vulnerable families of Kara tepe, people who had been registered before the agreement between EU-Turkey, who were living in an open centre and not in a prison, and who are not in the point of being immediately deported.

This staged spectacle included banners held by refugees saying „Pope is Hope“ etc.
The whole day the Media reported about Pope’s and Patriarch’s „historic“ visit to Lesvos, emphasizing the pro-refugee stance of Greece compared to the bullyish Europe who is building fences and closing borders.
Obviously they did not say a word about the closed border in Evros which has resulted in hundreds of dead people in the Aegean, not a single word about the terrible living conditions in Idomeni, not a word about the horrible detention centres and the illegal, according to international law, deportations carried out by the Greek state.
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