7,650 of 10,000 signatures

Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights

This petition is run by Free Humanitarians

Petition text

With this petition, we call on the competent Greek authorities to immediately release Sarah, Sean, and Nassos while their trial is pending. Humanitarian workers should not be treated as criminals! Their pre-trial detention is not justified, as they pose no threat to society.

Why is this important?

Free Humanitarians Sarah, Seán, and Nassos
Helping humans is not a crime!

The arrest of Sarah Mardini, Seán Binder, and Athanasios (Nassos) Karakitsos is the latest case of a worrying trend towards the criminalization of humanitarian work in Europe. The three humanitarians were arrested by the Greek authorities on 21 (Sarah and Seán) and 28 (Nassos) of August for rescuing and helping refugees and migrants arriving by sea on Lesvos island.

Sarah, Seán, and Nassos served as volunteers of a Greek humanitarian organization operating on Lesvos since 2015. They have contributed significantly to the rescue of thousands of refugees who made the harrowing journey from Turkey across the Aegean Sea. They have also participated in joint Search and Rescue operations with the Hellenic Coast Guard as well as The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX). The Greek non-profit humanitarian organization also ran a medical clinic offering primary care in the Moria Refugee Camp.

All three are accused of several crimes, including being members of a criminal organization, espionage, as well as assisting third-country nationals to illegally enter Greek territory. According to the legal team representing the three humanitarians, the Greek authorities failed to produce concrete evidence in support of such serious accusations. These charges could lead to their long-term imprisonment. Additionally, they can continue to be in pre-trial detention for a period of up to 18 months.

With this petition, we call on the competent Greek authorities to immediately release Sarah, Sean, and Nassos while their trial is pending. Humanitarian workers should not be treated as criminals! Their pre-trial detention is not justified, as they pose no threat to society.

European civil society actors and citizens have continuously opposed the intimidation and punishment of volunteers and non-governmental organizations. State practices that criminalize EU citizens for their solidarity with migrants and refugees are intolerable and risk our fundamental European values of justice, solidarity, and human rights.

#FreeHumanitarians #FreeSarahSeánNassos #FreeSarahAndSean

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