Riots on the Greek Chios island took place on the evening of April 18th, after a 47-year-old Iraqi woman died of an unknown disease in the migrant camp.
The unrest led to a fire at the Vial refugee camp on Chios island and destroyed the facilities of the European asylum service, a canteen, warehouse tents and many housing containers, Greek migration ministry secretary Manos Logothetis said.
“A large part of the camp’s administrative services was destroyed,” said Logothetis, adding that no injuries were reported.
The UN refugee agency’s spokesperson in Athens, Boris Cheshirkov, said the damage was still being evaluated but that many camp residents were likely left homeless as a result.
“Authorities are still assessing the damages but a few hundred people are likely affected because their shelters have burned down. We have donated tents to the authorities which can quickly be put into use and we will assist in replacing the warehouse tents,” he said.
At least three vehicles outside the camp were also destroyed.
A police source in Athens said two Afghans and an Iraqi had been arrested in relation to the unrest.
“We managed to restore order at around 1am … There were many people who took part in the incidents,” another police source said.
On April 16th, a 47-year-old woman from Iraq was transferred to the island’s hospital where she was treated for an unspecified illness and fever.
The woman tested negative for coronavirus and eventually returned to the camp but on April 18th evening she was transferred back to the hospital where doctors declared her dead.
As a result of the fires, dozens of refugees and migrants from one moment to the next lost even their few possessions with the Non-Governmental Organizations rushing to distribute clothes and basic necessities, but they were not finally allowed to do so by the authorities.
The clashes between migrants throwing stones at police and causing unrest, and the police trying to instate order continued until the early hours of Easter Sunday, April 19th.
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