Human Rights Watch, a pro-human rights group, issued on Thursday a statement, in which they criticize the living conditions of refugees and migrants on the islands of Chios and Lesvos.
“Greek authorities, in coordination with the European Union, are automatically detaining all asylum seekers and migrants who arrive on the islands of Lesbos and Chios in deplorable conditions,” Human Rights Watch says. “The detention of about 4,000 people creates particular hardships for vulnerable people who are held, such as children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.”
The piece also says that “the blanket detention of all asylum seekers and migrants in closed facilities is unjustified, given the possibility of less restrictive options, and amounts to arbitrary detention. The two closed facilities should be converted into open camps with appropriate services and safety for people needing protection from war, persecution, and human rights abuses.”
Eva Cossé, Greece specialist at Human Rights Watch says that “TEU’s policy, carried out in Greece, has locked up families and others who have fled horrors such as ISIS terror, Taliban threats, or Syrian-government barrel bombs. When alternatives to detention exist, as they do on the Greek islands, there is no legal or moral justification to hold asylum seekers and migrants behind bars.”