On 18 July 2017 the Police carried out an unprovoked and shockingly fierce attack inside the horridly inhumane detention camp of Moria on Lesvos island, targeting migrants (primarily of African descent) following a peaceful demonstration against the containment policy which keeps the majority of asylum seekers detained on the Greek islands during the lengthy and delayed processing of their asylum applications.They were also protesting against the horrible living conditions inMoria Camp. After clashes that had been initiated by the Police had ended, the police carried out a violent raid, during which a "sweep operation" took place, leading to the brutal and arbitrary arrest of the 35, as apparent collective punishment. The Police violently and mercilessly beat anyone that stood in their way resulting in serious injury to numerous refugees and migrants. Beatings and torture continued even after the arrests of the 35 that were detained. The sole basis for their arrest seems to be the colour of their skin as the African community of migrants had clearly been targeted. The government of Syriza-Anel holds full responsibility for the excessive police violence and for the seamless collaboration between the State and non – State actors who act as agents of the State.
8 months after the arrests, 30 of the 35 remain in prison in pre-trial detention, in four separate Greek State Prisons. The remaining 5 have been released with restrictive measures on Lesvos island awaiting trial. The serious criminal charges faced by the entire group are identical.
Recently, their trial date was set for the 20 April on Chios, rather than Lesvos, adding to the difficulty of defending the accused 35 migrants. The migrants are completely impoverished and unable to pay the defense lawyers of their choice let alone the costs of transportation and accommodation during trial. Furthermore, a number of witnesses that are currently residing in Moria will be unable to be present as travel between the two islands is forbidden due to restrictive administrative orders. In effect, the decision of relocating the trial to Chios instead of Lesvos infringes upon the very rights to a fair defense of the 35 accused.
Several NGO's that had committed to the legal defense of the accused during the past months have recently withdrawn from the case without providing a convincing or valid explanation as to the reasons of their actions. The motive for this departure could well be the pressure applied by the governments that currently finance these organizations.
All of the above provides evidence that the government remains committed to the motives behind the EU-TURKEY deal, and wishes to marginalize the 35 accused using them as an example to make it clear to all involved in solidarity actions, that such actions will receive zero tolerance.
We publicly condemn and denounce the actions of the government and all state actors for their manipulative actions that blatantly violate the right to defense of the accused.
We call upon workers, all Greek people, and international solidarity activists, in particular the youth to support and stand in solidarity side by side with the 35 migrants and assist in defending their democratic rights and freedoms. We wish to clarify, in all manners of speaking, that we are in fact one with the migrants and we will continue to fight this righteous struggle against the devaluation of all our lives.
As the Lesvos Coordination of Movements of Solidarity to all Refugees and Migrants we support the 35 arrested and demand their release.
· Common fights of locals and refugees
· The fabricated allegations that led to the criminal charges on the 35 should be withdrawn
· Immediate release of the 35 refugees
· No deportation of any of the accused
· NO to all brutal treatment of migrants by the EU and the government
· Protection-Asylum and full rights for all refugees and migrants
· Freedom of movement so that they be allowed to reach the final destinations of their choice-Open the islands
· Stop all deportations NOW
· EU-Turkey-Libyan racist agreements abolishment.
· To stop wars, interventions, close NATO bases, Frontex leave Aegean sea,
We support all acts of solidarity towards the 35 refugees/migrants!
The collective demands, the united front and solidarity, the unyielding and uncompromising struggle will lead us to victory!
This resolution is an open call for signatures and public support by all the Associations, groups and Unions.
Lesvos Coordination of Movements
of Solidarity to all