Inside Marovouni camp on Lesvos

“The police don’t respect refugees. A family wanted to bring dinner to their family in quarantine, from jail to jail – “ They kept being rude and saying: time is finished, yes or no, are you listening, yes or no, do you understand, yes or no”. (If) The police understands that they want to give food, why do they not allow it.”

The following article was written by volunteers from different collectives on Lesvos in close
collaboration with multiple people on the move after they expressed a strong desire to share
their experiences. For them it is important that you, the reader, knows what is going on inside
Marovouni camp on Lesvos. And not only to know, but to take action.

Marovouni was established in two thousand twenty after Moria famously burned down in a fire. It
took the Authorities six days to claim the former military site as a supposed “temporary” facility
that was quickly built with the international support of UNHCR and some NGO’s.

This camp is not a place that is generally in the media spotlight. It is, however, as bad as the
previous detention facility on Lesvos, the notorious Moria camp. Moria was well known for its de-humanising conditions. Marovouni is terrible in mostly different, more subtle ways. Not a lot is
known nowadays about the situation in the camp. This is partly because of a lack of interest from
the International press, but also because inhabitants are “heavily discouraged” from sharing
information or footage from inside the camp. Of course “heavily discouraged” means active
oppression by security and police inside the camp through fines and intimidation, but also outright
abuse and violence. In addition, most of the “house rules” are unclearly stated and communicated,
which increases the confusion. Much like the new facility on Samos, for the people with an
interests in maintaining and continuing the status quo it is important that the illusion of peace and
security (“dignified”) of these facilities is upheld. With the construction of the new facility in a
seemingly permanent limbo, it is unlikely this facility will be in use in the foreseeable future. As
you will read in the article below, changes in policy are a daily occurrence and constructions are
seemingly being made to make the camp more permanent.

Read the whole article as [pdf]

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