It is shocking that in Greece you can go to jail for saving lives. This is what happened to rescue workers Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder. They volunteered for a sea search and rescue organization in Lesvos and helped people in danger at sea. But they ended up in prison charged with spying, people smuggling and belonging to a criminal organization, until they were released on bail in December 2018 while awaiting trial.

In Greece, you can go to prison for trying to save a life. It happened to Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder when, as trained rescuers, they volunteered for a search-and-rescue organisation in Lesvos.

No government should ever make criminals of people helping refugees, instead of doing more to protect a refugee’s right to find a safe place to live. When people need to escape conflict, torture or other abuses in their countries, they often have no option but to make highly dangerous journeys to reach safety.‘


What’s scary, is not that it has put me in jail without trial, or that I still face 25 years in prison, it’s that this can happen to anyone because states don’t adhere to existing laws that protect humanitarianism.’
Seán Binder


‘Humanitarian work isn’t criminal, nor is it heroic… Helping others should be absolutely normal.’ Seán Binder

Please ensure that all charges against Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder are immediately dropped and acknowledge the legitimacy of humanitarian actions and the activities carried out by people acting in defense of refugee and migrant rights.

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