Comhlámh, the Irish Association of Development Workers and Volunteers, expresses its solidarity with three humanitarian volunteers, one of them Irish, facing 25 years in prison for their work rescuing and supporting people seeking refuge in Greece.
Seán Binder, Sarah Mardini, and Nassos Karakitsos were arrested in 2018 while working and volunteering with Emergency Response Centre International on the Greek island of Lesvos. They were charged with crimes including espionage and facilitating illegal entry: they spent 108 days in pre-trial detention and are facing trial again on November 18th 2021.
Independent legal experts have concluded that what Sarah, Seán and Nassos did was both morally and legally necessary. Human Rights Watch has said their prosecution is the criminalisation of saving lives, noting that the case against rescue volunteers in Greece is part of a distressing pattern of attacks across the European Union on humanitarian efforts to help migrants and refugees.