After seven days at sea, this group of 180 people agreed to be finally rescued to Greece. At 10:15 CEST, the Hellenic Coast Guard confirms that the boat was being towed to the port of Kalamata. At 18:00 CEST, we talked to the people who said they just arrived in Kalamata.
The whole group is taken to the Camp in Myrsini which is under UNHCR administration. However, after arrival, several people are investigated by the police, accused of being smugglers. Two of the accused are imprisoned after the arrest and face trial only a year later, in May 2022. This is yet another story that shows the systematic attacks on people’s freedom by the Greek state.
The two passengers who were imprisoned for over a year have only in May 2022 been acquitted by the court. Throughout this time, two young children of one of the imprisoned were given to a foster family in Greece. The kids had to spend a year of their life without their father, due to unjustified imprisonment. The two imprisoned were robbed of their freedom by the Greek state for over a year for no reason. And they will suffer from the traumatising consequences for much longer.
A report available on alarmphone.org summarized the case as such: "Over a year ago, in the evening hours of May 3rd, 2021, a group of around 180 people was brought to the Greek port of Kalamata after spending seven days at sea. A few days after the arrival, some of them were arrested and accused of smuggling. Two of the accused were then imprisoned unjustifiably and, after one year, will be freed from prison in the coming days. However, they will probably remain in a detention center a while longer: this is the bitter reality of the Greek asylum system today. At the same time, three other passengers from the same boat were sentenced to over 361 years each in their absence."
This is another example of the often invisible and incarceral violence and human rights violations people have to endure after arrival in Europe. Against this background it is important to underline again: neither driving a boat nor crossing borders is a crime. The real crime is the border regime and the countless human rights violations committed every day!