Trial of Lesvos volunteer migrant rescuers adjourned to Friday

Supporters of the 24 aid workers and volunteers of 24 aid workers and volunteers accused of participating in migrant rescue operations hang up a banner outside the court in Mytilene, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos, Jan. 10, 2023. [Panagiotis Balaskas/AP Photo]

A group of 24 aid workers and volunteers who participated in migrant rescue operations on an eastern Greek island went on trial Tuesday in a smuggling-related case widely criticized by human rights groups.

The defendants deny all the charges, saying they did nothing more than help rescue people whose lives were in danger. The trial, being held on the island of Lesvos, began Tuesday and was later adjourned until Friday.

The aid workers include prominent Syrian human rights worker Sarah Mardini, a refugee herself and competitive swimmer whose sister Yusra Mardini was part of the refugee swimming team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021. The sisters' story was made into a Netflix movie.

Mardini, who was not present for Tuesday's hearing, and fellow volunteer Sean Binder, who is Irish-German, spent more than three months in jail in...

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