Amnesty chief writes to Greek PM


The secretary-general of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, calling on him to take all necessary measures to improve living conditions at migrant reception centers on Lesvos, Samos and Chios.

While describing the residents of Lesvos in particular as a “beacon of solidarity and inspiration,” Naidoo expressed concern at “the devastating situation” of migrants. “I witnessed firsthand how people, even pregnant women and babies, have to sleep in cold, dirty and overcrowded tents,” Naidoo wrote, adding that the onset of winter is bound to aggravate conditions.

Blaming a deal signed between the EU and Turkey in 2016 to crack down on human smuggling as the key reason for the dire conditions at camps, he welcomed Greece’s efforts but called for more transfers to the mainland to ease overcrowding.

He also stressed that the problem was a European one.

“The situation on Lesvos is a scar on the conscience of Europe,” he wrote.