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UN demands evacuation of thousands of refugees from Lesbos

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UN demands evacuation of thousands of refugees from Lesbos


The United Nations refugee agency has called for the emergency evacuation 17,000 refugees crammed on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The refugees are sleeping rough around the port area as they wait for the Greek authorities to issue travel permits so they can board ferries to Athens and then travel on to northern Europe.

The water and sanitation situation on the island is desperate and frustrated refugees are involved in regular clashes with Greek riot police.

The islanders are finding the situation intolerable.

There is weary relief for those lucky enough to get off Lesbos:
“I don’t really care which country I go to in Europe or if I’ll stay in Greece, but the country which respects me as a human, and I could bring my family to live with me. This is all I want,” said one resigned Iraqi.

The UNHCR want the refugees to board ferries without documentation and register at the main port of Piraeus.

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