The European Union provided a funding of €250 millions for the construction of five new high-surveillance, closed and controlled Refugee Camps on the hotspot islands Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Kos and Leros.
On Samos this camp is located in the isolated area of Zervou on top of a mountain, 8 kilometres from Vathy. In summer time the camp is exposed to sunshine without natural shade from trees and in winter time the rainwater accumulates between the containers without a proper drainage system.
To enter the camp, all residents need to register with their fingerprints and get scanned with metal detectors and X-ray machines. In addition the camp ‘security’ standard is provided with several rows of military barbed wire fences, video and drone surveillance which is controlled from Athens, watchtowers and a strong police and military presence all around.
Greek authorities affirm their argument that the new camp will be an improvement on living conditions for all camp residents, but to move from a tent in a container won’t be the solution for all the problems in the camp. Many residents are facing mental health problems caused by marginalisation and dehumanising and neglecting treatment. People who are already on Samos for several years are losing their hope. With the relocation of the camp in an isolated area and prison-like facilities, people are denied their human rights of free movement and humane treatment.