“If you go in, there is no way out” - MSF slam refugee situation on Lesbos

Refugees who land on the island are being held in "detention centres"

“If you go in, there is no way out” - MSF slam refugee situation on Lesbos

File photo: A woman is helped from a boat on the northern shore of Lesbos, Greece. AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has suspended activities linked to the EU-run Moria "hotspot" on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The decision comes following the signing of the EU’s deal with Turkey which, the aid organisation says, will lead to the forced return of refugees and migrants from the Greek Island to Turkey.

MSF have ceased all activities linked to the so called “hotspot”, including the transportation of refugees to the centre, water and sanitation management and medical work at the clinic.

“We took the extremely difficult decision to end our activities in Moria because continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider being both unfair and inhumane,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, Head of the MSF mission in Greece.

"We will not be complicit in this unfair and inhumane system,” said Jane-Ann McKenna, Director of MSF in Ireland.
Refugees who land on the island are being taken to registration centres where they will stay while Greek and EU officials consider their applications.

“Effectively the reception centre has become a detention centre, last Sunday it became a closed centre. If you go in - there is no way out, no access to legal services, no way of claiming asylum in Greece,” Ms McKenna said on Newstalk Breakfast.

“Under the implementation of the new deal, the conditions to guarantee the basic humanitarian and protection needs of refugees and migrants are no longer respected."

MSF will continue to run its transit centre in Mantamados, in the north of Lesbos, where new arrivals are offered medical assistance.

Sea rescue activities will continue from the northern beaches of the island. MSF will also continue to run mobile clinics on the island for those outside of the hotspot location.