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Greece: Dozens of locals detained after erecting a cross in Lesbos to deter migrants from reaching the island

Police has detained 35 Greek citizens and an Albanian man on charges of erecting a giant metallic cross meant to deter migrants and ‘refugees’ from reaching the island off the coast of the Aegean sea

The alleged reasons for the detainments are of arbitrary occupation of public property and erecting an illegal construction. The site on the cliffs of Apellia in Mytilene, where the cross was erected is on the grounds of the island’s famous fortress and is protected by archaeological law.

Is not the first time this sort of incident happens and a cement cross was erected on the same site in August last summer, which drew anger from the
“Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean” group (which apparently does not want coexistence of different ways of thinking), who vilified the monument by stating that is “offensive to the symbol of Christianity, a symbol of love and sacrifice, not of racism and intolerance.” The NGO also called those who erected the cross “aspiring crusaders” and swiftly called the authorities to take it down.

According to reports, locals demanded for the cross to be restored, including the nationalists from Free Citizens party who have stated last month that the “Syriac mass, which ravages our country’s power, has attained its highest goal: the total destruction and extinction of every Greek and Christian element of our Greek Orthodox culture.”

Greece and its Aegean islands have been at the forefront of the migrant crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean since its peak in 2015 and many years later thousands of migrants remain in camps, drawing a feeling of tiredness and ire from locals in these islands.

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