Pylos 9: Announcement on their trail in Kalamata

The trial of the nine survivors of the deadly Pylos shipwreck was scheduled for 21 May 2024, in Kalamata. The Court dismissed all charges against the survivors due to lack of jurisdiction. The Court found the prosecution inadmissible for the charges of criminal organization and causing a shipwreck. Additionally, the defendants were acquitted of charges related to transporting migrants and illegal entry into the country.

The Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR) attended the trial in Kalamata with observers, supported by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The defendants had been arrested and charged with insufficient evidence, being held responsible for the tragedy within less than 24 hours after the shipwreck on 13 June 2023. The investigation was closed within a few months, lacking a thorough examination of the available evidence which could have shed light on the actual circumstances of the shipwreck.

This case exemplifies the systematic criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece, following a fast-track procedure. After almost a year of unjust detention, the nine survivors will finally be set free.

The next pending case related to the deadly Pylos shipwreck involves the lawsuit of the 53 survivors before the Piraeus Maritime Court, submitted by HLHR in collaboration with four other Greek NGOs. The survivors argue that Greek authorities failed to immediately intervene and organize a timely and adequate rescue operation, despite their obligations under International Law of the Sea, Human Rights Law, EU law, and domestic law to rescue the passengers on board.

Despite being the deadliest shipwreck in the Mediterranean and declarations from the Greek authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, all procedures are moving very slowly. Nearly one year after the tragic event, a comprehensive investigation that could shed light on this tragedy is still underway, with little progress made.

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