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When Volunteers & Government Collide

#Lesvos: Frontex, Turkish and Geek Police, is this the New Day?

The increased presence of the police and Frontex over the past week comes following a tip off that large numbers of armed Turkish police were to be deployed to Camp Moria, Lesvos last Friday in a coordinated Greek / Turkish response to the refugee crisis, coordinated at an EU level.  Reports of aggressive and violent police behaviour have been reported by volunteers.

Over the past week there have been reports of volunteers being arrested on Lesvos. YesterdayEkathimerini.com rather dramatically reported that seven foreign nationals working for NGOs were arrested on Monday for “stealing” life jackets from the local dump. The report went on to suggest that local authorities didn’t believe the volunteers requirements for the life jackets – which was to use them as ground insulation in tents – was the actual intended use. The entire incident is a bit bizarre and smacks of a slow news day.

However volunteers caught up in the incident, all of whom were released without charge were most frustrated by the fact that an entire day was wasted as they were subjected to 11 hours of form filling in the local police station. The volunteers involved have been quick to point out that they were unaware of the fact that the dump was in fact government property and there was no signage to alert them of the fact.

These incidents open up the debate about the rights of volunteers, particularly when acting in an emergency response situation , Independent Witness wrote

Source: When Volunteers & Government Collide

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