Greek police dispersed a large migrant protest on Lesbos with tear gas on Saturday, September 12. Hundreds of migrants, who were demonstrating over poor living conditions following a fire at the Moria camp on Wednesday, September 9, attempted to march towards the town of Mytilene before being dispersed. Social media reports indicate that protests are ongoing as of 13:00 (local time) in the vicinity of the camp.
Further protests are likely in the near term. A heightened security presence and resulting clashes between protesters and security forces are possible. Disruption to transportation and business should be expected in the vicinity of protests.
Thousands of shelters in Moria camp were destroyed in the September 9 fire, leaving approximately 13,000 people with nowhere to stay. Greek authorities have sent three ships to provide accommodation for some of those left without shelter, and the EU has put forward a plan to relocate 400 unaccompanied minors. Tensions between the migrants, Greek authorities, and local residents have been high since a 15-day quarantine was imposed on the camp on September 2 after a Somali man was diagnosed with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Since then, dozens of new cases have been identified among the camp's population.
Those on Lesbos are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the vicinity of the camp, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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