18.00: Empty tents in Idomeni and a lot of destruction after the police operation.
17.30: The camp is completely evicted now and journalists and observers are now able to reach the empty camp and no longer blocked by the police. All people are said to be brought to the Taekwondo-stadium (see picture below) in Athens. Yesterday there were already 750 people sleeping there; probably it will become totally overcrowded tonight.
16.30: We observed how people from the NGO Praksis searched the tents and told the police that they found a person hiding in a tent. This person was then brought to a bus to Athens. [Update see below / 10.12.2015, 21:37 CET] We have obtained conflicting versions of the event described above, and have moved the respective accounts to the end of this post. [Update see below] The train tracks are empty.
15.30: A bus with new people just arrived in Idomeni (see picture below). It appears that the transit procedur is supposed to go on for the three nationalities allowed to pass. At the same time around 300 other people, mostly families, are pushed into buses bound for Athens. The police cut open a big tent in which people stayed who are refusing to be taken to Athens and removed them from the tent.
14.40: Police presence is still massive: Nine buses full of cops are at the camp. Six buses with migrants are leaving to Athens. Still several hundreds of people in the camp. People are being brought out of the police barrier, with their hands tied up. Eye witnesses reported that police did used violence when people were pulled out of their tents, even against families with children.
13.20 Police tries hard to prevent any (media) coverage: People who have tried to take pictures from inside the camp have been arrested this morning. Follow #idomeni on Twitter. Protests are still going on: Inside the police barrier, migrants are shouting: „We don’t go back.“
13.05 Around 300 migrants refuse to enter the buses. According to media reports, the ten arrested people have been released. One injured person is brought to hospital.
13.00 Ten migrants have been arrested. Apparently there are protests happening at the border.
12.30 Still several hundred people are inside the camp. UNHCR estimates the eviction to take two more hours. The police said the camp will then reopen only for the people allowed to cross the border. A train carrying goods was brought from Macedonia across the border just now.
12:00 There are various areas that are surrounded by the police and military and people are pulled out. More than ten buses left to Athens. It is said that they go to the Taekwon-Do stadium there, but it was already full yesterday. According to the police, the arrested migrants are taken to the police station in Thessaloniki. One group of people was badly beaten by the police.
11:15 One friend from inside reports that police started to clear the railway tracks. People are pushed out of their tents. We heard of more arrests, but not of any injuries yet.
11.00 We are kicked off the area by the state persecutor, with the help of Medicin du Monde. More and more press is arriving but stopped by the police at the highway exit.
10.30 For all those who want to come: Take the mountain road via Hamilo. Police wants to send us away right now.
9.50: Police has blocked access roads to Idomeni. We cannot enter. MSF reports that everything is quite calm, but journalists have been arrested in the morning. People are loaded into Buses to Athens. Friends from inside the camp report that police has surrounded the camp and don’t let anybody leave the camp. One migrant friend was arrested.
9.40: The eviction seems to start soon. We will start reporting in twenty minutes.
Concerning the events of 16:30
[Update 10.12.2015, 15:19 CET] Praksis has provided us with a detailed account of the above described situation. To quote:
On 09.12.2015 at 16.30, PRAKSIS’ team was allowed to enter the camp to carry out the distribution of food. Earlier in the morning, most of those who could not cross the border had already boarded on buses to Athens. Our staff moved around to assess where it would be best to carry out the food distribution. During the search of the area, PRAKSIS’s interpreter spotted a young man who seemed asleep inside a tent. The interpreter approached him and tried to wake him. When he woke up, he informed him about the situation at the border, explaining what had happened and that everyone who was in the area but did not belong to the nationalities allowed to cross had been transferred by bus to Athens.
He asked him what he wished to do and the young man answered that he didn’t want to face any problems with the police and asked PRAKSIS’ interpreter to inform the police about his presence and his desire to get transferred to Athens.
PRAKSIS interpreter, fulfilling his role, informed the police about the presence of an individual who had fallen asleep so did not understand what had happened and now would like to go to Athens.
The young man, accompanied by our interpreter, went to the police – acting on his own will. He thanked him because he was told that if police had found him instead of the interpreter, they wouldn’t believe that he was asleep and probably would have used violence against him.
[Update 10.12.2015, 21:37 CET] Two observers present in Eidomeni have provided us with the following account:
We observed that people with Praksis-vests were passing a tent. We heard how they started a conversation with someone inside the tent. They told him more than once in a determined way, that he has to go to Athens. This man was now standing outside the tent but didn’t show the intention to move towards the busses. The Praksis people called for the police, telling them that here is another person hiding. Two police officers came to the tent and accompanied the person to a waiting bus. We observed this incident from a distance of about 5 meters.