They helped stranded refugees at sea. They are now being tried.

They helped stranded refugees at sea. They are now being tried.

Human rights organizations and the European Parliament have expressed their disapproval of the trial of 24 rescue workers in Greece, calling it “the largest case of criminalization of solidarity in Europe.”

According to Grace O’Sullivan, an EU legislator who claimed to have accompanied Sean Binder to court, the trial of Sarah Mardini, Sean Binder, and 22 other volunteers from the search and rescue NGO Emergency Response Center International began in Lesbos on Tuesday.

Binder and Mardini, the two most well-known defendants, were detained in 2018 after taking part in many search and rescue operations near the Lesbos island to save refugees who were marooned at sea.

In Greece, Sean Binder and Sarah Mardini are being tried.
In Greece, Sean Binder and Sarah Mardini are being tried.
Photo credit: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty
Mardini is a Syrian refugee who came to Europe by boat, whereas Binder is a qualified diver who holds dual citizenship in Ireland and Germany.

After it came to light that she and her sister had saved the lives of several asylum seekers when the boat they were traveling on from Turkey to Greece ran into trouble, Mardini attracted notice on a global scale. Yusra, Mardini’s sister, later competed in swimming for the Olympic Refugee team. The Netflix movie “The Swimmers” just brought the sisters’ story to life.

In 2016, Mardini traveled back to Greece as a volunteer for Emergency Response Center International, where she collaborated with Binder.

Ad Suggestions
According to a European Parliament report released in June 2021, the two have been charged with charges including espionage, aiding smuggling networks, membership in a criminal organization, and money laundering and could spend up to 25 years in jail if proven guilty.

Ahmad Badreddin Wais of Syria competes in the 54-kilometer Individual Time Trial Men Elite race from Northhallerton to Harrogate 121 meters on September 25, 2019 in Harrogate, England. The event is part of the 92nd UCI Road World Championships. (Image courtesy of Getty Images/Justin Setterfield)
2020: From Damascus to Tokyo Mardini’s attorney Zacharias Kesses in 2018 labeled the accusations “arbitrary” and said in a video message that the assertions “had nothing to do with real proof.” Syrian refugees’ extraordinary travels to the Olympic Games Aware that their case has “frightened individuals away from performing this kind of work,” Binder has also refuted the accusations.

According to a report by the European Parliament, the case is “currently the largest case of criminalization of solidarity in Europe.”

“The respect for the rule of law is all we are asking for, and it is all our lawyers have sought. That Greek laws are upheld,” Binder said to reporters on Tuesday after the day’s court proceedings were over.

Binder went on to add that the prosecution had “flaw after flaw” in their case, and that “we want the rule of law, and we will find out Friday if we will have the rule of law or the rule of defects.”

Human Rights Watch urged the Greek prosecutor to dismiss the charges in a statement on December 22 and claimed that the situation “essentially criminalizes life-saving humanitarian solidarity for individuals on the move.”

The trial “reveals how the Greek authorities will go to extraordinary measures to block humanitarian assistance and discourage migrants and refugees from seeking protection on the country’s beaches,” Amnesty International’s European Regional Office Director Nils Muinieks said in a statement on January 5.

“The very fact that this trial is happening is absurd. Without further delay, all charges against the rescuers must be withdrawn, continued Muinieks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *