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Refugees on Lesbos

December 16, 2017

Lesbos continues to struggle with the rising number of refugees. The island is not prepared for the approaching cold spell, and conditions in the camps are catastrophic. Resistance is growing – among migrants and locals alike.


Despite the EU-Turkey refugee deal, the Greek island of Lesbos has seen a surge in the number of new arrivals in recent weeks. Ahmed Al-Majeed is one of them. The 27-year-old ran a bookshop in his native Iraq, before he was forced to flee from so-called Islamic State. Two months ago, he reached Lesbos. He says refugees like him are being treated like animals. The island’s official refugee camp is bursting; its facilities are anything but hygienic. Ahmed lives next door in a makeshift camp, but things are not much better there. Many locals are also fed up with the situation. They're demanding the authorities move the refugees to the mainland. Stelios is a shepherd who says more than 40 of his sheep have been killed by refugees. He says they come at night to steal them, even security cameras don't help. His ancient olive trees have also been damaged. Stelios and Ahmed agree the situation is untenable. State of Emergency Lesbos and the Refugee Crisis A Report by Oliver Sallet