Migrants revolt at Lesvos center

Dozens of child migrants yesterday were transferred from a horribly overcrowded detention center on Lesvos to special hostels around the country following a vehement protest at the facility on the eastern Aegean island on Thursday. Some 60 unaccompanied minors are said to have been sent to other facilities after taking part in a protest on Thursday that involved hundreds of adult and child residents hanging from the bars of their rooms at the center, shouting in protest and calling for their release to a less cramped center. Another 60 or so children at the site are to be transferred to hostels over the course of the week, according to local sources. But it was not clear what the fate would be of hundreds more adult migrants at the facility in Panagi, which was built to house 250 but is currently said to be accommodating more than 900 people. Many residents at the facility are continuing with a hunger strike they started earlier this week, according to rights activists who have vowed to step up their action and are planning a large-scale demonstration on the island at the end of next week. Meanwhile authorities on Lesvos have reportedly appealed for the government’s support in running the overcrowded reception center, claiming that they have run out of money. In a letter sent to Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou, Vice Prefect Stavros Psaropoulos notes that local authorities owe some 2 million euros to suppliers of food and equipment for the center. «If the situation does not change, we will have to close down the center,» he said.