This week, a trial that Amnesty International describes as a farce should have started in Greece. The background to the trial is difficult to understand, but the backdrop is their struggle and contribution to saving people. A few years ago, thousands of boat refugees from Syria arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos. The journey across from Turkey claimed the lives of many people. Still, thousands tried to cross the strait between Turkey and Greece. The 24 who are on trial in Greece tried to help. What did they contribute? Yes, get them ashore, give them warm clothes and other humanitarian aid. The trial has currently been postponed several times. It was supposed to start on Tuesday this week, but was again postponed until tomorrow (Friday).
Trial without a crime
It all seems absurd to me. I don’t know the details of all 24 defendants, but saving human life is no crime anyway. They should rather be recognized for the work they have done.
People who try to help save people on their own are doing something that is in human nature. Saving others is almost an instinct we have. Greece believed that Turkey was almost helping the refugees to get over to Lesvos. It is possible, but that people on the run are used in a conflict between two countries is not good. Humans are not to blame for a conflict between Greece and Turkey. They sought safety from war.
The Greek authorities’ treatment of the refugees received a lot of attention and international criticism. A refugee camp was established on Lesvos. The name of the camp was Moria. This refugee camp received a lot of attention. The camp was referred to as “the world’s worst refugee camp” and a “prison without a roof”.
The camp was built to receive 3,000 refugees. In June 2020, around 20,000 people lived in this refugee camp. In September of the same year, large parts of the camp burned down after a fire. It is likely that the fire was set, perhaps by the refugees themselves as a protest against hopeless humanitarian conditions.
Greece must stop the trial against these 24 people. It is embarrassing for a European country. Saving others in need is no crime anyway.