In the second night of violence at the Souda camp where hundreds of an estimated 4,000 migrants and refugees on the Greek island of Chios are staying, unidentified assailants have thrown petrol bombs, fireworks and stones at migrants’ tents, forcing about 150 people to flee.
During the violence, a Syrian asylum seeker was seriously injured and two volunteers were beaten by a 30-strong gang as fires swept through the tents and camp, leaving destruction in their wake. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, several shelters were destroyed in the attack.
The UNHCR has offered to assist the Chios authorities in finding new accommodations for the refugees and migrants whose tents were destroyed. To alleviate the situation, it is also helping identify refugees for transfer to the Greek mainland, and arranging ferry tickets for them.”I strongly condemn any acts of violence, resulting both in the local population and the refugees being seriously hurt,” said UNHCR representative Philippe Leclerc. “All perpetrators of such acts should be found and brought to justice.”
The Friday attacks followed several incidents at the Souda camp in recent months, and occurred only days after members of a far-right Greek party accused of neo-Nazi affiliations, Golden Dawn, visited Chios and called for migrants to be removed.
A local official said the island was “seething” over the presence of about 4,000 refugees and migrants across three camps.
Chios is one of several Greek islands accommodating more than 16,000 migrants and refugees as part of the conditions of the controversial EU-Turkey deal.
Sources: BBC, Independent