Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Refugee riot breaks out on Greek island

27 April 2016, 22:32

Lesbos, Greece - The stale stench of burning trash hung in the air outside the Moria detention centre a day after some of the worst rioting seen on the island where refugees are held.

Thick black smoke billowed out from the facility on Tuesday after a fight between some of the unaccompanied children escalated into anarchy and the police violently intervened.

"The fight started after the police beat one of the children. Then many people started throwing stones, the police shot tear gas to us, and some occupied the loudspeaker and started chanting 'freedom'," Khaled, a Syrian student detainee, told Al Jazeera, giving just one name.

Under the terms of the EU-Turkey agreement, most refugees arriving on the Greek islands are sent to the detention centre on Moria, where they can apply for asylum in Greece.

The unsuccessful ones are deported to Turkey where they face an unknown fate, including possible detention and deportation back to their own country, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are an estimated 140 unaccompanied children imprisoned inside Moria, many held for months, and NGO workers reported some had been hospitalised after Tuesday's riots.

"They always fight, some of them are very disturbed and they become violent," said an NGO member who works with unaccompanied children. He spoke anonymously because he wasn't authorised to talk to the press.

"The police came in and beat some of them. We told them all to stop, but then the tear gas came so we evacuated."

Giorgos Kyritsis, government spokesman for the Greek refugee crisis, announced that after some "turmoil", the situation "was normalised".

In absence of any police, refugees manned the gate on Tuesday and allowed Al Jazeera access inside. Families could be seen running back to their squalid tents in fear of tear gas canister explosions, and roaming gangs armed with metal rods starting inter-ethnic battles.

"We have come from war to be jailed like animals. Why? This is an island, we cannot escape," said Ali, an Afghan detainee.

The refugee crisis through the eyes of refugees

Emmanouil Chatzichalkis, a lawyer from Lesbos, acted as a negotiator between the refugees and police.

"The refugees request only to have better living conditions. There is raw sewage flowing into people's tents, food supplies are very low and there is an urgent need for improved healthcare," Chatzichalkis said.

"I met a woman inside with cancer. Also, they desperately need access to free legal aid to understand their rights."

On Wednesday at noon, 12 Syrians were flown to Adana in southern Turkey on a Frontex-charted flight from Lesbos. All had allegedly returned voluntarily, yet many Syrians fear being sent back.

Khaled predicts more unrest in the days to come.

"Two weeks ago a member of a Syrian family tried to commit suicide after he was denied asylum in Greece. There will be more riots. If we have no freedom, what else can we do?"

- Aljazeera

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...