The Daily Beast reports: The Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos is a living hell even during the best of times. Last April, on the eve of Pope Francis’s historic visit, refugees complained to The Daily Beast through the barbed-wire fence that they had no hot water, no toilets and no information about how long they would have to stay. Many aid agencies long ago abandoned the camp to protest the way the refugees were being treated, which only served to make the conditions worse.
On Monday night, around the time diplomats in New York were signing a multi-national declaration to make life better for the world’s 21 million refugees, Moria’s hell became a literal inferno.
More than 4,000 refugees had to flee a fire that swept through the camp and raged late into the night, destroying more than a third of the shelters. The fire allegedly was set during a protest to mark a six-month anniversary of their detention in a camp that was built to house perhaps half the number of people there. Nine migrants and refugees were arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze.
Everything changed drastically on Lesbos and many other Greek islands last March when the European Union signed a deal with Turkey to trade illegal migrants or refugees for vetted ones. Since then, almost no one’s applications has been processed and the only people who have left the island are those deported back to Turkey. [Continue reading…]