REFUGEES from the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos face preliminary hearings today following their arrests on Tuesday, according to volunteer group Legal Centre Lesbos (LCL).
Camp residents had engaged in a peaceful protest over frustrations at their limbo status in the morning, after which clashes erupted between riot police and a “handful of protesters,” the volunteers say.
But “many of [the 35] arrested were not even part of the protest or clashes,” LCL maintains, charging that they were arrested due to their race or “location in the camp when raids and arrests took place.”
The group believes Greek authorities are keen to see convictions for “exaggerated criminal charges” because they could allow individuals to be “excluded from the right to international protection” and deported back to the countries they have fled.
Some of the arrested refugees “were brutally beaten” by police, LCL says, calling on locals to protest outside the courts today.