• Europe Must Act

Free Humanitarians: Drop the Charges for Sarah Mardini, Seán Binder, Nassos Karakitsos and 21 others

Updated: Nov 12

Open Letter


50 civil society organisations are releasing an open letter in support of Sarah, Seán and Nassos and 21 others who were involved in search and rescue activities on the island of Lesvos and are now facing trial. They risk a sentence of up to 25 years in jail.


While the humanitarian assistance of people like Seán, Sarah and Nassos has been essential, authorities across Europe continue to criminalise people and organisations that assist and support refugees and save lives (at sea and on land).


Organisations are asking:

● Greek authorities to drop all charges against Seán, Sarah, Nassos and the other 21 charged and recognise their work as humanitarian assistance and essential for saving lives at sea.

● Greek authorities and EU institutions to ensure that the principles of a fair trial are upheld and that independent trial monitoring will be allowed during these trials.

●European institutions to do more to prevent criminalisation and encourage member states to include exemptions for humanitarian assistance in their national legislation whilst ensuring that those member states who have such an exemption apply them.


Read the full briefing paper here:


Free Humanitarians Open Letter
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