Free the Moria 35

On 18 July 2017, migrants gathered in Moria Reception and Identification Centre in Lesvos, for the second day in a row of protests denouncing inhumane living conditions and demanding the right to freedom of movement for everyone trapped in Lesvos. The protests remained peaceful and calm until police began to use tear gas against the protestors and clashes developed between a handful of protesters and police officers. Approximately an hour after the clashes had died down several dozen riot police violently raided what was known as the “African” section of the camp. They forcibly pulled people out of the iso-box containers they lived in, brutally assaulted seemingly anyone they encountered including a pregnant woman. Within approximately 15 minutes, the police and some fire department officers on scene had arbitrarily arrested 35 men. 34 of the 35 individuals arrested were black. One of the arrestees was urgently hospitalised due to severe injuries sustained at the hands of arresting officers.

All 35 men were subsequently brought before the court and charged with (1) arson with intent to endanger life, (2) dangerous bodily harm, (3) damage to property and (4) resisting arrest. After nine months, during which time 30 of the 35 were held in pretrial detention, the 35 were tried in the mixed jury court of Chios. The Legal Centre Lesvos coordinated the defence and at trial the legal defence team was made up of six lawyers from the Legal Centre Lesvos, Musaferat, HIAS, Lesvos Solidarity, and Aitima. After a four day trial, all defendants were acquitted of arson, damage to property, and resisting arrest, however 32 were found guilty of causing dangerous bodily harm to their arresting officers – despite the lack of evidence of such harm being presented in court. This conviction was later vacated, due to a subsequent change in the criminal code.

Below you will find further information on the prosecution of the Moria 35, and LCL’s work to defend their rights.

28/01/2019Η υπόθεση των 35 στη Μόρια: αδικία κι ατιμωρησία διάρκειας 15 μηνών
29/11/2018The case of the Moria 35: a 15-month timeline of injustice and impunity
13/10/2018Trial Observation report – Moria 35
28/04/2018Moria 35 Trial Ends in Conviction of 32 – But the 35 will Finally be Free!
16/04/2018Release of Documentary – Moria 35
09/08/2017The Intercept, Refugees Seeking Asylum in Europe Are
Instead Arrested and Beaten by Police in Lesbos
30/07/2017Free the Moria 35