Auf einer Videokonferenz am 17.03. haben Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, der französische Präsident Emmanuel Macron und der britische Premier Boris Johnson dem türkischen Präsidenten mehr Geld versprochen, um den Deal zu erneuern. Die Ereignisse vom 4. März sind Geschichte. Der Bericht von Patrick Strickland, auf Al Jazeera von 18.03.20, fasst die Ereignisse noch einmal zusammen, wobei er eine Reihe voon Beobachtungen auch zu den „Villagers and Vigilantes“ aufgeschrieben hat.
Witnesses told reporters the bullet that killed 42-year-old Muhammad Gulzar came from the Greek side of the border, but whether a soldier, a police officer or a carbine-toting vigilante had pulled the trigger, no one could say for certain. […]
Even as police beefed up border security, attempted to transfer more asylum seekers from the islands to the mainland, and evicted refugee squats in Athens, locals in communities around the country grew increasingly frustrated. Vigilante violence and anti-refugee protests surged. On several islands, local mayors and other municipal officials led mobs of residents that blocked boats from unloading refugees on their shores. In late October, locals in the northern village of Vrasna blockaded the street and prevented buses carrying hundreds of refugees from entering the community. […]
Last month, the government announced plans to build closed detention centres on five Aegean islands – Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesbos and Kos – and islanders rebelled. On Chios and Lesbos, locals stormed construction sites, rioted and clashed with hordes of riot police that the government had shipped to the islands. In the weeks that followed, attacks on asylum seekers, humanitarians and reporters mounted.
The plan’s announcement followed revelations that the government would build a floating border wall in the Aegean Sea, a 2.7km (1.7 miles) barrier intended to prevent refugee boats from reaching Lesbos.
As misery deepens and the clampdown grows more severe, surveys suggest that Greek public opinion has shifted: in a recent poll, 92 percent of respondents told the diaNEOsis Research and Policy Institute that too many migrants were in the country, while only one-in-five believed that migrants should be integrated into the society. […]
In Evros, the region that abuts the country’s land border with Turkey, locals were not immune from the wave of vigilantism washing over Greece. Since the crisis on the land border flared up, civilian patrols – among them armed groups, including those led by acolytes of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party – fell into the spotlight. […]
Nowadays, if you drive up and down any of the roads near the border with Turkey for long enough, you will spot refugees and migrants trudging across patches of open field, lugging knapsacks and weighed down by the mud accumulating on their shoes like an anchor. In the predawn hours, before the sun has fully ascended, they appear like apparitions on the hilltops, shrouded in the morning fog that affords them a modicum of anonymity. When a rickety police van or bulky army vehicle lurks past, the asylum seekers tear off for the trees or dive into the bushes. […]
In a village whose population is largely made up of ageing farmers and pensioners, locals fear the government could eventually build the type of closed detention centres authorities are currently erecting in other parts of the country. „If the village has 300 [refugees] here, how will they feed them?“ Polisakis asked. Although not hopeful, he insisted that other European countries should take a larger share of the asylum seekers, a point of contention also regularly voiced by the Greek government. „Europe needs to open the borders and let them pass through.“ […]
About 9:30pm on March 2, CNN Greece journalist Kostas Pliakos hopped in his rental car and started the drive from Didymoteicho to Feres, a 65-kilometre (40 miles) trek down the border. About halfway there, he spotted three men on the side of the road and pulled over. He introduced himself and asked where they were from. Syria, they told him. As he chatted with them, a pick-up truck skidded to an abrupt stop.
When two men and a woman hopped out, Pliakos noticed one was carrying a rifle. Pliakos asked what they were doing there, and they said they lived in nearby villages and patrolled the fields for refugees and migrants. Then two more pickups pulled up, and more armed men appeared in front of him.
Understanding that they stood face-to-face with vigilantes, the Syrians took off in a sprint, Pliakos told me. One man fired the rifle into the air, the sharp crack of the gunshot rippling out in the night. Two of the Syrians escaped, but the vigilantes caught the third, tossed him to the ground, and punched and kicked him. Standing some 10 metres away, Pliakos watched the violence unfold until one of the vigilantes accused him of filming the attack on his phone. He admitted that he was a reporter, but insisted that he was not filming. It was no use: the men snatched his telephone and threw it on the ground.
Even as he watched his phone shatter into pieces, Pliakos assumed he was safe – until the first fist slammed into his face. He tried to defend himself, but tumbled. As the three or four men punched him, kicked him, and struck his body with a wooden stick, no cars passed. „You f***ing journalist,“ one shouted. „We are trying to defend our communities and you do this stuff here.“ […]
On the morning of March 5, the day after Gulzar died on the border, Greek media reports said the refugee build-up was moving further south, towards Ipsala – the same area where Turkish authorities claimed a Greek bullet killed a Syrian man called Mohammad Yaarub a few days earlier. As in the case of Gulzar, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas had dismissed those reports as „fake news“ and Turkish propaganda. However, videos captured on the day the 22-year-old Syrian died appeared to show Greek soldiers firing live ammunition across the border.