On 15. May 2024, A.A., a young man from Palestine, faced a trial on the Greek Island Rhodes. He, himself a refugee, forced to steer the boat at gun, was accused of smuggling more than 30 people in a boat from Turkey to Europe. Under Greek law, he was threatened with a decades-long prison sentence, which systematically criminalizes people on the move (see the recent study).

Thanks to his good defense lawyer, Elpiniki Kyrmpasi, the court accepted an amendment to the charges and “only” accused him of smuggling 30 people, but not professionally, not for profit and without endangering people transporting, but not professionally and without endangering people.
The sentence is 8 years and 1 month. He has to spend 2/5 of this time in prison and will reduce it to around 2 years due to work in prison.
However, he will appeal as he is a refugee and has no other option but to leave his country and seek protection in Europe. The lives of his brother and family in Rafah (Gaza) are still at danger.

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