Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzania investigates ferry disaster which killed at least 227

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential parody: the unofficial Elysée shop

Read more

THE DEBATE

Iran Under Pressure: Tehran Vows Retaliation After Ahvaz Attack

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Where providing information on abortion remains a crime

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: ‘Big Brothers’ Winston McAnuff & Fixi

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Back from golfing dead': Tiger Woods overcomes pain and scandal to win first tour in 5 years

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Julien Brave NoiseCat: ‘Pipelines a real threat to First Nations’ way of life’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Austrian government spokesman: ‘Still possible to agree on Brexit deal before end of October’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Playing fair and paying fair: Copyright law gets an internet-age overhaul

Read more

Europe

Sister of Syrian star swimmer who rescued migrants arrested in Greece

© Axel Schmidt, AFP archive | Syrian refugees and swimmers Sarah (L) and Yusra Mardini receiving their awards for their courage as "unsung heroes" at the Bambi Awards ceremony in Berlin in Nov. 2016.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-09-07

Sarah Mardini, one of two Syrian sisters who saved over a dozen refugees in 2015 by pulling their sinking dinghy to Greece, has been arrested for alleged people smuggling, her lawyer said on Friday.

Greek police said on Tuesday they had arrested two members of an aid organisation on the island of Lesbos and were investigating a total of 30 on suspicion they smuggled migrants into Greece, spied and laundered money.

Mardini, 23, who is being held in a maximum security prison in Athens, has denied all charges, her lawyer Haris Petsikos told Reuters.

"She was strictly doing volunteer work. There is not a piece of evidence against her," he said.

The other person arrested is German national Sean Binder, 24, a volunteer who has lived most of his life in Ireland. He is also represented by Petsikos and also denies the charges.

Authorities said the suspected crime gang allegedly "provided direct assistance to organised migrant trafficking rings".

They are accused of establishing and joining a criminal organisation, money laundering, espionage, violating state secrets, counterfeiting and offences against the immigration code and electronic communication legislation.

Mardini, who settled in Germany and split her time between there and Greece, was not in Greece when some of the alleged crimes were committed, Petsikos said.

A date for a trial has not yet been set. Under Greek law, Mardini could be held for up to 18 months.

Sarah Mardini and her younger sister Yusra, a UNHCR goodwill ambassador and swimmer who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics with the first ever refugee team, fled Damascus in 2015 for Turkey.

They boarded an overcrowded dinghy to Greece and, when it began taking on water, jumped into the sea and dragged it for hours to Lesbos, saving the lives of 19 others.

Nearly a million Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis crossed to Lesbos from Turkey in 2015, at the height of Europe's refugee crisis, before traveling onwards to northern Europe. Dozens of aid groups operated on Lesbos at the time.

Hundreds of refugees and migrants have drowned trying to cross the narrow but dangerous stretch of water between Turkey and Greece.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-09-07

  • FRANCE

    French police evacuate Grande-Synthe migrant camp near Dunkirk

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Dozens dead after days of clashes near Libyan capital

    Read more

  • IMMIGRATION

    Macron accepts Orban, Salvini challenge: ‘I will yield nothing to nationalists’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)