Discussion Forum: Criminalisation of Activists
From a young age, Sara and her sister Yusra were competitive swimmers, coached by their father and hoped to compete on an international level. Sara was also a law student when violence erupted in Damascus during the Syrian Civil War and the family fled. Sara saved the lives of her fellow passengers when their boat capsized whilst making the crossing from turkey in 2015, by swimming their waterlogged dingy safely to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister. When Sara eventually settled in Berlin, she decided to volunteer with the Greek non-profit, the Emergency Response Center International (ERCI) for 2 years on and off, putting on hold her university studies at Bard College in Berlin.
Sara is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island. Despite the case against Sara still being open, Sara has now resumed her 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.