Migrants scapegoated for hostile border tragedies

Migrants scapegoated for hostile border tragedies

Migrants scapegoated for hostile border tragedies

After spending 11 months in detention, the “Pylos 9” were acquitted in May 2024, but they still cannot walk free. Despite being aqcuitted, these nine surviving migrants, who were unfairly blamed for a tragic shipwreck that killed hundreds, remain illegally detained. According to the Times Union, this continued detention represents yet another inhumane form of treatment that migrants systemically face.

On June 14, 2023, a fishing trawler named Adriana capsized off the southwestern coast of Greece, leading to a catastrophic loss of life. The vessel, which departed from Libya, was carrying up to 700 migrants from Pakistan, Syria, and Egypt, all desperately seeking a better life. This tragic incident not only highlights the perilous journeys that migrants are forced to undertake but also exposes the harsh realities and failures of current border policies.

The fateful journey and the “Pylos 9”

The Adriana was an old fishing trawler, never meant to carry nearly that many people. Overcrowded and poorly maintained, it was a disaster waiting to happen. As the vessel approached Greek waters, it capsized, leading to a horrifying shipwreck with only 104 survivors. A total of 82 bodies were recovered, but hundreds more people are feared to be lost.

According to Reuters,

It was one of the deadliest boat accidents ever in the Mediterranean Sea and raised questions about the methods used by EU countries to stem the flow of migrants heading to their shores, often in small, rickety boats.

In the aftermath of the disaster, Greek authorities arrested nine of the survivors, all men from Egypt, referred to as the “Pylos 9”. These men were charged with human smuggling and accused of being responsible for the shipwreck. The prosecution’s case is based on the theory that the overcrowded and poor state of the boat directly led to its capsizing and that these men were in charge of the vessel and its passengers.

The “Pylos 9” are being portrayed as the masterminds behind the dangerous journey and held accountable for the hundreds of deaths that tragically ensued. They spent 11 months in detention before the case was dismissed within hours of the trial opening on May 21.

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