Amnesty International Canada

SARAH MARDINI AND SEÁN BINDER

FACING JAIL FOR SAVING LIVES

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Call on the Greek authorities to drop the charges against Sarah and Seán!

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In Greece, you can go to jail for trying to save a life. It happened to Seán Binder, 25, and Sarah Mardini, 24, when they helped to spot refugee boats in distress. They risk facing up to 25 years in prison.

Sarah and Seán met when they volunteered together as trained rescue workers in Lesvos, Greece. Sarah is a refugee from Syria. Her journey to Europe made international news - she and her sister saved 18 people by dragging their drowning boat to safety. Seán Binder is a son of a Vietnamese refugee. They couldn’t watch refugees drown and do nothing.

Their humanitarian work saved lives, but like many others across Europe, they are being criminalized for helping refugees. The pair risk facing up to 25 years in prison on "people-smuggling" charges. They spent more than 100 days in prison before being released on bail in December 2018. 

 “Humanitarian work isn’t criminal, nor is it heroic. Helping others should be normal. The real people who are suffering and dying are those already fleeing persecution."-- Seán Binder

Criminalizing humanitarian workers and abandoning refugees at sea won’t stop refugees crossing the sea, but it will cause many more deaths.

Solidarity is not a crime. Call on the Greek authorities to:

  • Drop the charges against Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder

  • Publicly acknowledge the legitimacy of humanitarian work which supports refugee and migrant rights

Take Action for Sarah and Seán! 

Read the petition letter below

To: Greek Minister of Citizen Protection
Michalis Chrisochoidis

 

Dear Minister,

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.

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.

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.

Yours Sincerely,

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