A criminal court on the Greek island of Lesbos acquitted two Danish men accused of human smuggling yesterday.
Salam Aldeen and Mohammed El Abbassi, members of the aid group Team Humanity, had been charged with human trafficking for their efforts in January 2016 to help a group of refugees in danger of drowning as their boat floundered off the coast of Lesbos.
Three Spanish firefighters who were also charged were acquitted.
The five were charged with the attempted illegal transport of migrants in Greece. The trial lasted nine hours. The court acquitted the men and ordered their bail be returned. El Abbassi had paid 5,000 euros, while Aldeen had paid 10,000 euros.
The lead prosecutor asked that they be found guilty, but the court ruled the five had not committed any crime. Supporters broke into applause as the ruling was announced, hailing a verdict that “reflects the sense of justice of all of Europe”.
Amnesty International issued a scathing condemnation of the case.
The five men were arrested on 14 January 2016 in territorial water borders between Greece and Turkey as they were trying to help the refugees.