Jailing of Afghans for Lesbos migrant camp fire a ‘parody of justice’
Lawyers criticise 10-year terms given to four asylum seekers, saying three should have been tried in juvenile court
Draconian prison sentences handed down to four Afghan youths found guilty of starting the fire that destroyed the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year have been described as a “parody of justice”.
Defence lawyers called the penalties “unfair”, saying three of the accused were under the age of 18 at the time and should have been tried before a juvenile court. The asylum seekers received 10-year jail terms each.
“They were given the maximum sentences possible without the court recognising any mitigating circumstance,” said Patrikios Patrikounakis, among the lawyers handling the case. “Their age should have been taken into account according to the Greek penal code. What we saw, instead, was a parody of justice,” he told the Guardian.
A three-member tribunal convening on the Aegean island of Chios announced the verdict after a two-day hearing on Saturday. Neither international observers, nor the media, were allowed to attend the proceedings after the judge closed the courtroom citing Covid-19 restrictions.