Criminal defence of migrants and human rights defenders

The LCL has taken on criminal defence in cases of migrants or those in solidarity with them who are criminalised for political acts, or who are subject to abuse of state power or collective punishment. These cases have included representing alleged migrant ‘boat drivers’ charged with smuggling, migrants who are arbitrarily detained, and individuals arrested following migrant-led protests.

Aerial photo of the migrant boat taken by HCG prior to its sinking

Pylos 9: prosecution following the deadly 2023 Pylos shipwreck

On 14 June 2023, it is estimated that over 600 people drowned in one of the deadliest shipwrecks in recent history, off the coast of Pylos, Greece. Nine men, who were among the 104 people who survived the massacre, were arbitrarily arrested and accused of causing the shipwreck, membership in a criminal organisation, and smuggling. Read more here.

Moria 6: prosecution for the 2020 destruction of Moria camp

Following the destruction of Moria camp in September 2020, the Greek state arrested six young Afghan teenagers, namely, the “Moria 6”, and presented them as the sole criminally responsible for the fires. All six Afghans – five of whom were under eighteen years old at the time of their arrest – were arbitrarily arrested and later convicted. Read more here.

Justice for Amir & Razuli: the prosecution of alleged boat drivers

Amir Zahiri and Akif Razuli are two among thousands of migrants who have been imprisoned on smuggling charges in Greece, accused of driving the boat or car used to enter Greece from Turkey, despite themselves being migrants entering Greece in order to apply for asylum. Read more here.

Additional Reports/Publications

See our latest publications on criminalisation below: