Greece is in the news because of the trial of activists and volunteers who saved migrants

Date:

Greece is in the news because of the trial of activists and volunteers

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Sunday, January 15, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The hearing started on Tuesday on the Greek island of Lesvos and involved 24 volunteers and campaigners.

  • OHCHR warned of the “chilling impact” that the hearing has had on human rights defenders, who have since stopped working in Greece and other EU nations.

  • All defendants were connected to Emergency Response Centre International or ERCI; between 2016 and 2018, the organization assisted more than 1,000 people in reaching safety and gave survivors medical care and other support on Lesvos, according to OHCHR. Voice of logicThe spokesman for the UN office for human rights, Liz Throssell, said: “I think it’s apparent that you have individuals who are in crisis at sea, people who are on boats that may have overturned, or may have sunk; they are in the water, and there is nobody to rescue them.

  • The OHCHR representative said that the defendants are accused of many alleged misdemeanours related to aiding in the smuggling of migrants. She appreciated the announcement on Friday that the prosecution has proposed dismissing several of the allegations.

  • Lost at seven Although the UN International Organization for Migration says that 492 migrants have died or gone missing in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2021, Ms. Throssell pointed out that there are no longer any rescue teams from civil society working in Greek waters (IOM). The OHCHR representative said, “Other rights activists have already been tried in similar ways in Hungary, Italy, and Malta, among other EU countries.

The hearing started on Tuesday on the Greek island of Lesvos and involved 24 volunteers and campaigners. OHCHR warned of the “chilling impact” that the hearing has had on human rights defenders, who have since stopped working in Greece and other EU nations.

All defendants were connected to Emergency Response Centre International, or ERCI; between 2016 and 2018, the organization assisted more than 1,000 people in reaching safety and gave survivors medical care and other support on Lesvos, according to OHCHR.

Voice of logic

The spokesman for the UN office for human rights, Liz Throssell, said: “I think it’s apparent that you have individuals who are in crisis at sea, people who are on boats that may have overturned, or may have sunk; they are in the water, and there is nobody to rescue them.”

Because they criminalize efforts that save lives, “we are stating that this prosecution and trials like it are exceedingly troubling.”

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Ms. Throssell mentioned that those accused included a Syrian refugee and foreigners like Sean Binder, an Irish-German.

The OHCHR representative said that the defendants are accused of several crimes related to helping to smuggle migrants, and she was glad to hear on Friday that the prosecution has asked for several of the charges to be dropped.

Lost at sea

Even though the UN International Organization for Migration says that 492 migrants have died or gone missing in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2021, Ms. Throssell pointed out that there are no longer any rescue teams from civil society working in Greek waters (IOM).

The OHCHR representative said, “Other rights activists have already tried similar methods in Hungary, Italy, and Malta, among other EU countries.”

In this case, we are saying that the charges against these people should be dropped because saving lives and giving humanitarian aid are essential things that no state should ever make illegal.

Since 2014, the IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has heard about almost 1,700 deaths and disappearances on the Eastern Mediterranean maritime route. Nearly 500 of these people were children.

It is known that many of the victims were from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

A large rubber boat filled with refugees is pulled to shore on the island of Lesbos, in the North Aegean region. (file)
Photo by Ashley Gilbertson VII for UNICEF

On the island of Lesbos in the North Aegean, a large rubber boat full of migrants is being pulled to shore.

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