Five migrants were arrested in the investigation into the fire of Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, and a sixth identified suspect is on the run, announced Tuesday, September 15, the Greek Minister of Civil Protection, Michalis Chrysohoïdis. “Five young foreigners have been arrested while another, who has been identified, is still at large” and sought after, he said.
The five migrants were arrested during a police operation Monday on the roads of this island, a local police source told Agence France-Presse (AFP). The sixth suspect has left the island, according to the same source.
Quoted by the Greek news agency ANA, the minister estimated that “These arrests discredit the scenario” according to which “Extremists” reportedly set fire to the migrant camp, the largest in Europe, on the night of September 8-9, leaving 12,000 asylum seekers homeless.
Most sleep on asphalt, sidewalks, in fields or abandoned buildings. They refuse to go to the new temporary camp set up quickly a stone’s throw from the ruins of Moria, fearing that they will not be able to leave the island once inside. But, according to the Greek Migration Ministry, some 800 exiles who had been staying for months, even years, in Moria are now housed in the temporary camp, closed to the press, despite the heat, the lack of showers and mattresses, according to testimonies collected by AFP.
The Greek government has twice accused migrants of being at the origin of the disaster. But incidents between asylum seekers and islanders, including far-right supporters, opposed to keeping migrants in Lesbos, have been increasing since 2019. Angry residents are called to demonstrate on Tuesday afternoon to demand “The removal of migrants from the island”.