Between June 1- 7, 72 illegal immigrants arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from the previous week’s 55 arrivals but a decrease from last year’s 766 arrivals during the same period, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported.
Currently, according to the agency, there are 36,900 illegal immigrants on the Aegean islands, with nearly half from Afghanistan. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (49%), Syria (19%) and Somalia (6%).
Of the 36,900 illegal immigrants on the islands, 22% were women and 33% were children, in which 6 out of 10 are younger than 12 years old. Of those children, around 13% were unaccompanied or separated from their parents and were mostly from Afghanistan.
However, 45% of the illegal immigrants were men, more than double the number of women.
To ‘shield’ the older and immune-compromised illegal immigrants from coronavirus, UNHCR said they are prioritising their transfer out of the migrant camps and into apartments or hotels on the islands or the mainland.
Between June 1 and 7, 80 illegal were transferred, with 13 of them to the mainland.
Lesvos received the highest number of illegal immigrant between the reported time period, while the Dodecanese islands, Samos and Chios received no arrivals.
This week, 421 illegal immigrants departed from the Aegean islands to the mainland when they received permission from authorities. Of those, 70 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to apartments currently managed by the agency.
In the same time period of the UNHCR report, the “Ταξιάρχης της Μόριας” church in Lesvos had large stones thrown through the windows, as reported by Greek City Times.
Makis Pavlellis, a local who works and lives in Moria where the infamous migrant camp in Lesvos is located, said “something very bad and dangerous has been going on for 4 months in the area. It looks organised and directed.”
As a deeply religious society, these attacks on churches are shocking to the Greek people and calls to question whether these illegal immigrants seeking a new life in Europe are willing to integrate and conform to the norms and values of their new countries.