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Greek migrant camp arsonists sentenced to 10 years in prison

Athens (dpa) – A court has sentenced four migrants to 10 years in prison each for their part in fires that engulfed the Greek refugee camp Moria last year.

The Afghans immediately appealed after the verdict in the trial on Saturday, but this has no postponing effect, Greek state radio ERT reported.

In September 2020, the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos was almost completely destroyed in the fire, leaving around 12,000 people without accommodation overnight. No one died.

Police investigated six youths and men from Afghanistan as suspects for allegedly setting fire to the crowded and squalid camp in order to force their resettlement to the Greek mainland.

Two of them had already been sentenced to five years in prison under juvenile law in March. They have also appealed.

The number of migrants living on the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean is currently decreasing.

According to the government, there are only about 9,600 people in and around the registration camps on Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros, of whom about 6,500 are currently on Lesbos.

In April 2020, the total number of refugees and migrants was still some 40,000.

The reason for the decrease are measures taken by the Greek government to bring older people, sick people and families from the islands to the mainland, as well as fewer new arrivals from Turkey.

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