For months, aid organizations warned of deplorable conditions at Moria camp, an outdoor Greek detention center housing some 4,000 migrants and refugees on the island of Lesbos. They slammed an asylum process that caused refugees to languish.
On Monday, a violent confrontation between desperate refugees and migrants left people bloodied and bruised. Rumors of mass deportations to Turkey only added to the panic. Then, a fire engulfed the camp.
When American attorney Ariel Ricker saw the flickering flames Monday evening at Moria, she ran home and picked up her small first aid kit. Soon, thousands of people who had fled conflict and persecution found themselves displaced once again.
“It was unbelievably horrifying,” said Ricker, director of the organization Advocates Abroad, which provides free legal assistance to people seeking asylum. “There was lots of panic and fear and uncertainty.”