24 April 2019
A group of lawyers accused Greek authorities on Thursday of violating human-rights laws when they arrested a man in 2016 for trying to help asylum-seekers at sea reach Europe’s shores. The Global Legal Action Network, or GLAN, said it filed a petition at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, challenging the arrest of Salam Kamal-Aldeen.
Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax from Queen Mary University of London's School of Law is a GLAN advisor. She said: “The Strasbourg Court now has the opportunity to condemn the growing trend in Greece and Europe of criminalising solidarity. Rescue is not a crime; it is a binding duty under international law. Humanitarian assistance of persons in distress at sea should never be prosecuted. Attacking civil society constitutes an assault on the main values of democracy. Rescuers should instead be celebrated and protected as selfless guarantors of the most basic human rights.”