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Sinking of the Adriana: the 9 Egyptians still detained in Greece

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Nine Egyptians cleared by a Greek court of their involvement in the sinking of a migrant ship remain unjustly held in administrative detention days after being released, their lawyers said Monday.

A judge in the southern city of Nafplio is expected to consider a legal challenge to secure their release on Tuesday, lawyers said at a news conference in Athens. “The decision to detain them is not legal and has no justification,” said Effie Dousi, one of the lawyers.

The nine men were among 104 survivors of an overloaded trawler that sank in international waters off southwest Greece on June 14, 2023, while en route from Libya to Italy.

A total of 82 bodies have been recovered, but hundreds more are feared to have died in one of the worst migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea.

Human trafficking

Greek authorities accused the nine people of being part of the trawler’s crew – something the defense denied – and brought criminal charges against them, including for human trafficking and for causing a deadly shipwreck . But last week, a judge in the southern city of Kalamata dismissed the case after a prosecutor argued that Greece did not have jurisdiction because the trawler had sunk outside its bounds. territorial waters.

The Greek coast guard was widely criticized for failing to prevent the sinking, despite the presence of a ship nearby, and some survivors claimed the trawler sank after the coast guard attempted to tow it. The coast guard strongly denied this claim.

Survivors

A separate Naval Court investigation into the sinking and the coastguard’s actions is still underway. Mr Dousi said the nine people, who sought asylum in Greece, had already spent 11 months in pre-trial detention and should now be free.

“They are survivors of a shipwreck ,” she said, adding that if the Nafplio court rules against their release, the nine people will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Lawyers said the Egyptians were being held in police cells in Nafplio and Athens, as well as a migrant detention center in Corinth, southern Greece. They said police ordered their administrative detention because they did not have an address in Greece, had no identity papers and were at risk of fleeing.

By Rédaction Africanews 

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