started this petition to
Region of North Aegean
Pikpa camp is a small, community-based camp in Lesvos
under threat of closure.
Since 2012 it hosts the most vulnerable refugees on the
island. Pikpa has hosted more than 30,000 refugees over the years, without any
financial support from the state, the European Union or UNHCR. Numerous
individuals, groups and organisations are actively contributing to the open,
self-organized camp of Pikpa, which
has been internationally recognized as a symbol of solidarity. In 2016, Efi
Latsoudi received the UNHCR Refugee Nansen award on behalf of Pikpa camp.
Nevertheless, the Region of North Aegean Region has decided
that Pikpa is a threat to public health and the environment and decided to
close it, after a report by the Hygience Service.
When Pikpa responded to the need to accommodate 350 extra
people after heavy fights in Moria camp on 25 May, this moment was chosen by
the Hygiene Service to come for inspection, which
raises serious questions about the purpose of the inspection. The issues raised in the report by the Hygiene Service
were addressed swiftly and have been fixed.
While the teams that support Pikpa were once again
struggling to cope with the emergency situation and provide solutions, Pikpa received
a coordinated attack. For minor deficiencies - which have already been restored
- the Regional Governor made a decision to close the site. At the same time, 5 hotel owners in the area, the manager of the indoors basketball court
(Municipality of Mytilini) and the tennis club, start a
court case against Pikpa asking for court measures for alleged lost
profits for their businesses. Their arguments evolved around the rhetoric about
the "danger" of refugees to the area, as well as the cultural
differences that do not allow the refugees to coexist with the residents of
In the Europe of today, with racism and xenophobia on the
rise, it’s more important than ever to protect spaces of solidarity and
coexistence. Pikpa is fighting against the EU-Turkey agreement that turn the
Aegean islands into prisons. Pikpa creates human reception conditions and
fights the inhuman conditions of refugees who are forced to live in camps like
We call on the Region of North Aegean, the Municipality of
Lesvos and the Greek government to keep Pikpa open.
#savepikpa by adding your voice.
Posted: 10 July 2018 (Updated: 24 July 2018)