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March 28, 2020

Residents in Lesvos, Chios Clash With Police Over New Migrant Camps


Hundreds of residents on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios clashed with police in the early hours of Tuesday as they tried to prevent the arrival of riot police and excavating machines to be used to build migrant detention camps.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds that gathered to try and prevent the ships from docking.

Clashes in the port of Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, lasted for about two hours. Hundreds of residents were repelled by riot police forces who arrived from mainland Greece to reinforce police already stationed on the island.

Similar clashes occurred at the port of Chios, where the mayor of the island Stamatis Karmatzis was injured during the clashes and rushed to the local hospital for treatment.

The government says it will move ahead with plans to build the new facilities on appropriated land and has promised to replace existing camps where conditions of severe overcrowding have worsened in recent months.

Many island residents and the local authorities vehemently oppose the plan, arguing that the migrants and asylum seekers should be moved to the Greek mainland.

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