Preliminary Report of the trial observers following the Appeal Trial of Homayoun Sabetara

The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and the Legal Centre Lesvos (LCL) followed the first part of the Appeal trial of Homayoun Sabetara which started on Monday and Tuesday 22 and 23 April 2024, before the Appeal Court of Thessaloniki. 

Homayoun is an Iranian asylum seeker arrested on smuggling charges in Thessaloniki in August 2021. Homayoun flew from Iran to Istanbul and then reached Greece with the aim to finally end his journey in Germany to reunite with his children. On his way he ended up being arrested for driving a vehicle with 7 passengers after 4 days in a forest in the Evros region, without food or water.

Following his arrest, he was placed in pretrial detention waiting for his trial. He was found guilty by the first instance Court on 26 September 2022, which sentenced him to 18 years of imprisonment.

BVMN, LCL and ELDH who attended the trial reported several violations of the fair trial principles during the proceedings, detailed in the preliminary report recently published on 22 May 2024. The Appeal trial was interrupted and will continue on  24 September 2024, raising further concerns about the defendant’s right to a timely and just resolution under international law.

You can find the full report here.

Court room 23/04/2024 – Illustration by Adrian Pourviseh


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