Greek trial of 24 rescuers who saved migrants in Med begins


A group of 24 volunteers have gone on trial on the Greek island of Lesbos more than four years after they were arrested for carrying out migrant rescue missions off Greece. Their case was denounced in a European Parliament report as Europe’s “largest case of criminalisation of solidarity”.  Among the defendants accused of a string of misdemeanours is refugee and swimmer Sarah Mardini. A movie recently told the story of how she escaped with her sister from Syria. The volunteers were initially detained in 2018 for several months on suspicion of human trafficking, but the charges facing the group in Mytilini on Tuesday involved espionage, illegal access to state communications, money laundering and assisting criminal activity. Police said in 2018 that the volunteers had collected information about refugee flows from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos, and provided direct assistance to organised trafficking groups.(BBC)…[+]