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The so-called “life jackets cemetery”, Lesvos (Greece), May 2019

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From 2015 to 2017, hundreds of thousands of migrants landed in Lesvos, coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Pakistan, Iraq. Just a few maritime miles separate Lesvos from the coast of Turkey, and this is the reason why this route to Greece and the EU was so important and busy before the Greek navy and Frontex sealed it. Hundreds of thousands of life jackets – worn by migrants during the crossing – were found by the inhabitants of Lesvos, who came along the coast to provide migrants with a first aid. Life jackets were then removed from the coast by the same inhabitants of the island, and then moved inland far away from the coastline and, especially, from the tourists’ sights. In 2019, the “life jackets cemetery” counted at least a quarter of a million jacket, plus tens of boats which had been used to cross that narrow strait.

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