Regarding the administration’s claims to the reception and identification center in Moria, Lesvos, that Médecins Sans Frontières publishes unreliable medical data on incidents of sexual abuse and rape, Apostolos Veizis, MD and Director of MSF Programs, replies:
“We would like to express our deep concern at the fact that incidents of sexual abuse and violence taking place in Moria, Lesvos, are overlooked and declared to be untrue by the Center’s administration itself, despite the repeated warnings of both Médecins Sans Frontières and other actors.
Doctors Without Borders, as an independent and impartial medical and humanitarian organization, do not receive any funding from the Greek state or the EU. It is worth noting that in cases where we formally complain of the harmful effects of policies that directly affect health and dignity of our patients, we rely solely on specific medical data derived from our action.
From January to the end of September 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières has treated in our clinic, outside of Moria’s camp, a total of 23 patients who reported having been sexually abused, including rape, inside or around the camp. Of these patients, 14 were adults and 9 were minors, some only 5 years old.
In each of these incidents, we followed the medical protocol, including urgent care, if necessary, urgent contraception, prevention of HIV transmission and sexually transmitted diseases, vaccination and laboratory tests. In all cases, we also provided psychological support.
In Lesvos we work alongside the local hospital to prevent or minimize the medical complications of sexual violence. For all cases of child abuse seen by our teams, the police have been informed. The responsibility to conduct forensic examination and investigation of reports of sexual violence, as well as the protection of victims, lies with the competent prosecuting authorities, namely the police and the prosecutor.
Our teams see almost everyday incidents of sexual violence and attacks, suicide attempts, self-harm and serious mental health effects for children, adolescents and adults. And this is an event that can not be challenged by anyone. “