Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2015 Contents A29
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KOS---Locked in a sunbaked football
stadium without food, drinking water
or sanitation, about 1,000 refugees
queued for hours yesterday to register
with Greek authorities on the island of
Kos, which is now at the forefront of a
humanitarian crisis sweeping the
financially broken country.
After sending police reinforcements,
the government promised to charter a
commercial ship to house up to 2,500
immigrants on the island where
authorities have been overwhelmed by
a spike in arrivals.
Alekos Flambouraris, an aide to the
prime minister, said the vessel would
be used to provide shelter and check
The order to charter the ship was
given after violence broke out in front
of a police station on the holiday
island, where migrants were lining up
to receive temporary residence
documents. Kos mayor Giorgos
Kyritsis welcomed the promised ship,
but complained that the government
did little to help his island until
Flambouraris stepped in. (AP)
As conditions worsen, Greece promises ship to house refugees
Greek police have locked migrants in a football stadium
on Kos for over 24 hours, where dozens have been treated
for panic attacks and a number have reported police beatings,
as the situation continued to deteriorate.
Around a thousand men, women and children were given
no food or water on the island, where they are waiting to be
registered by authorities after arriving on boats from Turkey.
Medics with charity Doctors Without Borders said they
treated around 28 refugees fleeing Syria and other warzones
for panic attacks after police threw stun grenades, which emit
blinding flashes of light and deafening bangs, into the crowds
Around 20 migrants also fainted from hunger, dehydration,
lack of food and exhaustion in the 33C heat.
Hundreds of people were seen climbing the stadium s 12-
foot perimeter wall to go and buy food and one man was taken
away in an ambulance after he fell and seriously injured his
"What we see now is a completely disproportionate focus
on security management of these people without the relative
humanitarian assistance that they need," MSF s Vangelis
Orfanoudakis told the Associated Press.
"There are just two toilets, no access to water, they now
have put a water hose for all the people. The situation is really
Police, who ordered the migrants into the stadium after
clearing them out of makeshift camps in parks and other public
spaces, had handed out around 300 travel documents by
Riot officers sprayed fire extinguishers and moved into the
crowd with batons as anger mounted at the conditions and
hours of waiting, with migrants chanting "we want papers,
we want to eat" in a repeat of clashes seen on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the charity confirmed that around 28
migrants had been treated for panic attacks, and at least six
had reported police beatings.
One police officer has been suspended from work on the
island after allegedly slapping a Pakistani migrant and threatening
him with a knife, local media reported.
For many refugees, the conditions still a vast improvement
on what they left behind.
Dirar, an English graduate from Syria, said Kos was nothing
compared to his hometown of Aleppo, which he called the
"worst city in the world."
"There s no electricity, no water, no Internet," he added.
"My home was destroyed by a rocket blast. I was so happy
to be alive."
Most refugees say they are leaving economically-troubled
Greece as soon as possible after gaining temporary travel papers
to continue their trek through the Balkans and central Europe
to wealthier countries.
Kos saw 7,000 migrants arrive last month and the number
is expected to continue rising as smugglers, avoiding fighting
in Libya and the deadly Mediterranean crossing, use alternative
But authorities on the island have not provided any food
or water since April, or opened reception centres like those
set up across Italy to house arrivals until they can move on.
try to make
stadium in Kos,
on the Greek
island of Kos,
A girl cries as
migrants gather for
procedure at the
stadium of Kos
Fights broke out
among migrants on
the Greek island of
Kos Tuesday, where
struggling to contain
of people arriving
rubber dinghies from
the nearby Turkish
Policemen try to
of migrants by
was taking place
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