Barcelona En Comú expresses its support for the volunteers from Spain and Denmark who have been detained in Lesbos while performing humanitarian work.
José, Julio, Manuel, Mo, and Salam risk their lives every day rescuing refugees in distress at sea. They moved to Lesbos to volunteer to collaborate and contribute to the rescue of those fleeing violence and war, working in two non-profit initiatives, ProEmAid and Team Humanity Denmark.
We are pleased that José Julio, Manuel, Salam and Mo have been released on bail. However, we are concerned that this case will set a precedent of criminalizing support and humanitarian aid. Activists from all over the world are working in Lesbos to stabilize this critical situation, the causes of which lie in the wars, the economic interests linked to them and, not least, in the lack of will on the part of the European Union to tackle the situation and create safe passages to safety for refugees. We are also concerned that this case could mark the beginning of a confrontational attitude by Frontex towards individuals and institutions working on the shores of arrival in Greece.
All European political institutions - local, state and continental - must take responsibility for providing a safe and dignified welcome to refugees. They must harness, rather than criminalize, the professionals, social movements and volunteers who are facing up to this dramatic situation and saving lives on a daily basis on the European shores of the Mediterranean Sea.