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

Amir Zahiri and Akif Razuli, both from Afghanistan, traveled by boat to Greece from Turkey in March 2020. As Akif and Amir later testified during their trial, as soon as they entered Greek waters the Hellenic Coast Guard attacked their boat and tried to push it back into Turkish waters using metal poles that cut the boat, causing water to enter and putting the life of the people on board at risk. As the boat was about to sink, the coast guard eventually took them and the other passengers on board the Coast Guard vessel. The coast guard proceeded to beat Amir and Akif, who were later arrested and arbitrarily accused of smuggling and causing the shipwreck. Under Greece’s broad anti-smuggling legislation, even migrants who are themselves subject to smuggling networks can be convicted for smuggling if they steered the boat or drove the car in order to cross the border into Greece. After spending six months in pretrial detention, Amir and Akif were tried in September 2020 in Mytilene Court. Based only on the written statements of the coast guard – who did not appear in court as witnesses – they were both acquitted for causing the shipwreck, and convicted of smuggling, receiving 50 years prison sentences. The statements used to convict them only stated that Amir (who was traveling with his heavily pregnant wife and young daughter) had been seen steering the boat and that Akif had been seen caused the cutting the ship – which he denied.

The two were represented on appeal by lawyers from the Legal Center Lesvos and Human Rights Legal Project Samos. Below you will find further information on the prosecution of the Amir and Akif, and LCL’s work to defend their rights.

05/09/2023Victory for LCL Client – Mytilene Court orders compensation after unjust imprisonment
12/12/2023Delayed “justice” in appeal trial: Amir Zahiri and Akif Razuli will finally be freed!
10/12/2023The Guardian, Afghan refugee freed in Greece after two years of wrongful imprisonment
07/04/2022Cruel and unjustified postponement of Amir and Razuli appeal trial
18/03/2022Appeal trial against Amir and Razuli interrupted until 7 April 2022 after two days of waiting
03/03/2022Justice for Amir and Razuli!