FreePylos9 Teach-In

On Wednesday, 15 May, 2024, we held a virtual teach-in to #FreePylos9 in solidarity with the nine criminalised survivors of the Pylos shipwreck and with all people on the move facing spurious charges of “facilitation.”

The nine defendants accused by the Greek State for the Pylos shipwreck of 14 June 2023, were tried on 21 May 2024 before the three member Appeal Court of Kalamata, Greece. They were exonerated since the court decided that the Greek state had no jurisdiction to prosecute the Pylos 9 for “participation in a criminal organisation” and “causing the shipwreck which resulted in people losing their lives”, since the events that led to the Adriana shipwreck occurred in international waters. The court also acquitted them of the charges of “smuggling” and “illegal entry in the national territory,” since the passengers of the Adriana never entered
Greek territory, nor did they ever intend to do so. Despite this verdict, Greek police did not immediately release the nine survivors, but held eight of them in administrative detention pending their asylum claims, whilst the ninth person, whose previous asylum claims had been rejected, was placed in pre-deportation detention. After lawyers lodged objections, the eight were released, but the ninth person remains behind bars.

A teach-in is sharing knowledge, information, and ideas, whilst collectively occupying a space of resistance and refusal to accept the dominant narrative.

In this teach-in, which took place virtually the week before the trial of the Pylos9 began, we were joined by defendants’ lawyers, organisers, and people facing criminalisation to understand how this case has unfolded, and why it is crucial to show solidarity with people on the move criminalised as “smugglers” or “traffickers”. We discussed this specific legal case, linking it to and contextualising it within ongoing practices of resistance to border violence, which is the real cause of deadly shipwrecks.

With: #FreePylos9 campaign, #Free Homayoun campaign, Legal Centre Lesvos, Aegean Migrant Solidarity, Watch the Med–Alarm Phone, Captain Support Network, Refugees Platform in Egypt, Feminist Autonomous Centre for research

Read the full text here: EnglishFrenchTurkish

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