RAPE ON LESVOS… Young British Female Volunteer Assisting in the Refugee Crisis is Raped by colleague…
A couple of weeks ago I unearthed a shocking event that even three months after the event, very few people know about it and those who do have swept it under the carpet.
In late December 2015 whilst at a group party a young British Girl who was volunteering on the Island of Lesvos with the Organisation Starfish in support of the thousands of refugees that arrive every week was raped, not by a refugee, but by one of her own colleagues, a Greek national that lives on the island. Instead of supporting the young girl who at this stage wishes to be anonymous, the head of the Non-Government Organisation Melinda who also owns a restaurant in the north of the island called The Captains Table has been alleged to have confronted the young British girl telling her that it was her own fault that she had encouraged the perpetrator who actually in front of witnesses from Starfish, the young girl a councillor and Melinda herself admitted to the offence ‘Date Rape’ as if to say Date Rape isn’t really rape and was OK.
The young girl feeling unsupported by the very organisation that she was volunteering for was forced to feel that she had to keep quiet, but after hearing that Starfish had then 6weeks later promoted the perpetrator to team leader she couldn’t go on being silent anymore and confided in another volunteer and reported the rape to the organisation DRC (Danish Refugee Council) who immediately took all the details, took the young girl away from the area and into a local hotel and looked after her very well and following this meeting the DRC then went to the Greek Authorities.
From day one Starfish management knew what had happened, and instead of supporting her and fighting her corner, they have been said by witnesses that have now left the organisation covered it up and pressured the young girl to keep quiet so not to tarnish the reputation and name of Starfish.
At this time starfish was holding a very important role within the main refugee camp Moria, right on the front line of helping the most vulnerable of refugees fleeing war where the accused rapist had easy access to lone refugee women that he could at any time rape again. It was only after the intervention of the DRC and their reporting it up the chain, that Starfish were sacked from all duties at Moria and barred from ever coming back on camp. Though my question right now what are these higher authorities doing about the incident? The victim of this rape has been felt unsupported and left not making a statement to the police as it seems she feels nothing will be done, there are rumours about what may of happened knocking about the volunteer community but almost no one in the volunteer community knows what really about anything happening. Starfish have retreated back to the North of the Island where they started from and operate on the beaches helping the refugee boats coming in to shore and in one of the warehouses sorting clothing etc.
The accused rapist has since left Starfish voluntarily and working with another group somewhere on the island.
I confronted Melinda to invite her to sit with me two weeks ago to answer questions about her and the allegations against her, the alleged cover up and the identity of the rapist, but after a couple of very lame excuses to confirm a date to meet, I have been left feeling very confident in all the evidence I’ve gathered and the words from several witnesses and the words from the victim herself who spoke to me by a close third party. I have also been informed that the victim back in the UK is now talking to lawyers.
The situation on Lesvos is now starting to get worse again, it’s now early March and more refugee boats are starting to come across the sea from Turkey with the weather getting better. We also have the closed Macedonia border which is having a disastrous effect on the numbers of refugees left stranded in Lesvos on an almost long term basis when Lesvos was really only ever set up as a transit base of two refugee camps and never set up really for long term. The island is very small and if the high numbers of refugees start coming over again like last summer and the Macedonia border still remains closed we will have an emergency on the island – authorities I believe here on the island should brace themselves for the worse and prepare for the worse. With regards to the rapist who seems to have got away with it and still being left to volunteer with an NGO on the island working with an ever increasing number of vulnerable refugee women, it is very possible he could strike again, and this time he could target a refugee. The girl may not have pressed charges, but the authorities should know the identity of the rapist and ban him from working with any NGO or organisation on the island working with refugees.
Reported by Mike Buss – 15th March 2016