Vulnerable protection seekers who arrived in Crete end up detained in Kos

Despite facilities in Kos have already reached maximum capacity due to increased arrivals from Turkey, the few last weeks authorities have started transferring there newcomers from Crete. Among them extremely vulnerable cases, injured and elderly persons as well as a cancer patient who was literally removed from the hospital in Crete to be transferred to Kos. No vulnerability assessment takes place in Crete. During this period the Migration Ministry has transferred 175 refugees from Crete to Kos possibly aiming to readmit them to Turkey. In many cases this was a direct violation of asylum procedures and international law given the fact that many people have requested international protection while still in Crete. These requests should have been examine by the Regional Asylum Office of Crete which started its operation last July.

According to official Data currently the hotpot in Kos, situated in the village in Pyli, holds 906 persons while its capacity is for 772. In a complaint letter to the Minister of Migration Policy, the Reception and Identification Service employees have criticized conditions in the hotspot. They pointed out that refugees held there were left in the middle of the summer without medical supervision. The municipality of Kos has produced a hostile statement, asking from the government to stop the transfers from other islands. Their point of view is that the country’s third-largest tourist destination, Kos Island, cannot be a place to host many refugees and migrants.

Meanwhile for the vulnerable refugees and migrants transferred from Crete, being trapped in Kos only going to deteriorate their situation.

“Refugees Support in the Aegean” (RSA) has recorded two testimonies

M. from Iraq

“I came here to get a medical treatment for myself and save my life, not to end up in the prison!”

I have an untreated tumor. I have no other family than my adult daughter who lives in Germany. I entered Greece on 16. September with a group of other refugees arriving on the island of Crete. They took me with an ambulance to the hospital of Chania. But after 9 days they said we have to send you to another island. I said to them, please I want to stay in the hospital, just in the hospital… But they told me that I have to go. They pick us up early in the morning without telling us where they will transfer us. I had a catheter in my body…  They brought us to a bus and after two and half hours we arrived in the port of Heraklion. They put me in the ship, they insulted me and pushed me. After a trip of many hours they brought us to this island. I don’t have any medicaments. When we arrived in this place I told them in English that I am sick, and that I have to go to the hospital. I showed them the papers. But they said I have to wait. Last week i met a doctor. He said he will come Monday back, but he didn’t.  I have a lot of pain that I cannot endure. I cannot move much now. My right foot it swollen. I came here to get a medical treatment for myself and save my life, not to end up in the prison!

T. from Iraq

”I need immediately assistance. I can’t deal with this situation”

I was fighting in the front line with Kurdish Peshmerga forces against ISIS. Then I was injured in my ear.  Now I can speak but no hear. I have entered the clinic in Iraq and they made an operation in my head. I came to Europe to find help, but I see myself in the prison. I need immediately assistance. I can’t deal with this situation. I collapse every day. In Crete doctors helped me. They made some examinations and they gived me also some medicine. But the most important thing is to do another operation. I have to do this operation in Germany. In my country I got no help. You have to be a relative or a close friend to the government so you get help. I have the medicine the doctors gived me in Crete, but I am afraid that if I take all and it finish I cannot find other medicine, because I don’t know how to get it. It is also very difficult for me to be in a place like this overcrowded camp. I can’t hear something, but when I am in a place with many people this makes me angry. Now I am in a container with other 12 people, among them children. I need to be somewhere alone.  In this place no doctors came to visit me.

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