Greece: EU’s new camp for migrants on the island of Samos is like a prison

Refugees and asylum seekers are trapped in camps in miserable living conditions on the Greek islands, and, despite promises of change, the European Union (EU) is instead doubling down on its inhumane containment policies.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) general director Stephen Cornish recently visited the new Multi-Purpose Reception and Identification Center that's being constructed for refugees on the Greek island of Samos. This new prison-like camp is intentionally more isolated than existing facilities, with increased security, surveillance, and segregation from the rest of society that will limit access to essential services and remove any agency or semblance of a “normal life.”

“This is the new approach to migration in Europe, where we are seeking to criminalize, to humiliate, and to punish the refugees and asylum seekers rather than to extend their rights,” said Cornish. “It's time for citizens to see what's happening with their taxpayer money and to instead of investing in this kind of criminalization, invest in a caring, dignified approach to asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Europe.”