** HUMANITARIAN WORK IS NOT A CRIME **
Sara Mardini was forced to flee her home when the Syrian Civil War broke out , she and her sister travelled to Turkey and made the difficult decision to cross the sea to Greece. Sadly their boat capsized and Sara and her sister Yusra – both who are strong competitive swimmers – bravely saved the lives of the other people in their vessel by swimming the waterlogged dingy to safety on the shores of Lesbos.
After this harrowing experience Sara returned to Lesbos to work with an NGO as a rescue volunteer. But rather than being praised for her brave and humanitarian actions, Sara was treated as a criminal by the Greek authorities and is facing accusations of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation. Before being released on bail, she spent 105 days in prison. Her charges carry penalties of up to 25 years in prison.
Although the case against her is still open, Sara has since returned to her new home, Berlin, to continue her legal studies at Bard College, where she also runs SHORE: Students Helping Organise for the Refugees of Europe, a student group collecting donations and raising awareness about refugees.
Hear more of her story on Saturday 1st Feb 2020 at the Refugee Solidarity Summit, where Sara will be discussing the increasingly hostile environment for humanitarians and the criminalisation of activism. Please support the Amnesty campaign running in behalf of Sara and her Colleague Sean Binder who will also be joining us at the summit . We will be sharing his story soon!
Criminalising humanitarian workers and abandoning refugees at sea won’t stop refugees crossing the sea, but it will cause many more deaths.
Solidarity is not a crime. Please call on the Greek authorities to:
Drop the charges against Sara Mardini and Seán Binder and publicly acknowledge the legitimacy of voluntary humanitarian work which supports refugee and migrant rights.
If you are a student you can purchase a student discount ticket for the summit using this Eventbrite Code -STUDENT2020 – Discounted ticket price for students (£10 a day/£15 for 2 days)
How to access discount tickets:
1. Go to site: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/84584746253
2. Click on “Tickets”
3. Enter Promo code (Link at the top left of the page, this will open a window to enter code)
4. Click apply
5. Choose preferred ticket type (Friday, Saturday or 2 day)
Remember to bring your student ID with you to the venue on the day!