Τετάρτη, 5 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Coastguards to appeal conviction for torturing asylum seeker in 2007

By Damian Mac Con Uladh

An Athens military court on Thursday is expected to hear an appeal by two coastguards against their conviction for torturing a Moroccan asylum seeker on the island of Chios in 2007.

Last November, Piraeus naval court found the pair guilty of having tortured their victim by restricting his breathing so as to simulate drowning and suffocation (the so-called “wet and dry submarino”), by carrying out mock execution as well as other serious attacks on human dignity.

The defendants were handed suspended jail sentences of six and three years as well as the long-term deprival of their political rights. In addition, one of the convicted coastguards was told he would be demoted upon confirmation of sentence.

The torture occurred immediately after the victim’s entry into Greece and during his transfer with other asylum seekers to the port of Chios.

The incident was first documented in the report entitled “The truth may be bitter but it must be told: The situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the practices of the Greek coast guard” (pdf), which was published in 2007 by the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants and the NGO Pro-Asyl.