18 November 2021
By Tom Collins
The Cork North Cental Solidarity TD Mick Barry this morning voiced support for Irish aid worker Seán Binder who faces trial in Greece today on charges arising from his work rescuing drowning people from the Mediterranean.
Mr Binder, who grew up in Cork, faces the possibility of 25 years in prison for his work as a rescue diver for the human rights organisation Emergency Response Centre International.
The trial is widely seen as an attempt by the Greek state to deter human rights search and rescue in the Mediterranean where more than 20,000 migrants have drowned in recent years.
Deputy Barry said this morning: “This is the chilling reality of the European Union’s “Fortress Europe” policy – tens of thousands of human beings left to drown and outstanding volunteers like Seán who try to rescue them branded as people smugglers, dragged before the courts and criminalised. These are trumped-up charges and they should be dropped.”
The UK-based law firm Leigh Day has criticised the Greek authorities and has expressed “serious concern as to the basic compliance with international human rights law in this case.”