Greek Police Arrest 7 over Attacks Against Migrants
Greek police arrested seven people while still searching for another two on suspicion of planning or carrying out attacks on migrants on the island of Lesbos, authorities said Friday.
Police said five Greeks and two foreigners between the ages of 17 and 24 were arrested Thursday night outside the Moria migrant camp.
The camp which Moria's largest, has more than 19,400 asylum-seekers living in and around it.
The camp was originally designed to hold just over 2,800 people.
Authorities confiscated several homemade wooden bats, a metal rod and a full-face hood. Two minors, one Greek and one foreigner, were being sought as additional suspected participants.
The massive overcrowding and dire conditions have led to increasing tension on the island, both among locals and the camp’s residents, and asylum-seekers have staged demonstrations to demand transfers to mainland Greece.
Island residents have held protests and a strike to press the same demand for the removal of migrants, the Associated Press reported.
Under a 2016 deal between the EU and Turkey, refugees and migrants who arrive on Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast are held there pending deportation back to Turkey unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.