Volunteer migrant rescuers set to face trial in Greece

Irish-German rescue diver Sean Binder, one of the 24 defendants on trial, speaks to the press outside the Lesvos court, on Tuesday. [Manolis Lagoutaris/InTime News]

A Greek court was set to hear a smuggling-related criminal case Tuesday against a group of 24 aid workers and volunteers who participated in migrant rescue operations on an eastern Greek island.

International human rights groups have widely criticized the prosecution of the defendants, who deny all charges and say they did nothing more than help rescue people whose lives were in danger.

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 spent more than three months in jail in Lesvos after their 2018 arrest on misdemeanor charges that...

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