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Responding to the release on bail of volunteers and staff who provided life-saving assistance to refugees, Kondylia Gougou, Amnesty International’s Greece Researcher said:

“Whilst we welcome the news that these dedicated humanitarians will be back with their families tonight after more than 100 days behind bars, the fact that they still face absurd charges and potentially long prison sentences is an outrage.

“This case is just the latest example of how authorities are mis-using anti-smuggling laws to target activists and criminalize rescue. To detain dedicated volunteer humanitarians who helped people in need defies logic. People who selfless act in these ways should be lauded not imprisoned. These baseless charges should be dropped.”

Background

Four humanitarian workers were released on bail today.

Sean Binder and Sara Mardini were released on 5,000 Euro bail. They are charged by the Greek authorities of several crimes, including being members of a criminal organization, espionage, as well as facilitating people smuggling. According to the legal team representing the two humanitarians, the Greek authorities failed to produce concrete evidence in support of such serious accusations. These charges could lead to up to 25 years’ imprisonment.

Two more NGO members facing the same charges have also been released today on bail after three months in pre-trial detention.