Bid to Smuggle 8 Refugees to Euskadi fails. Mikel and Begoña now Free

ubn_5077-jpg_20161229192450greciafinal_32360_1Protests for freedom of the 2 rescuers.–Freedom for Bego and Mikel-  –No person is Illegal–.

from Diagonal and TeleSur..  translation by The Free 

Two basque activists were arrested  in Greece for attempting to smuggle eight refugees to Euskadi

The activists and eight refugees have been detained in Greece when they tried to access a ferry bound for Italy in an action of civil disobedience to European migratory policies organized and financed by social groups.

200 volunteers help l.oad a lorry with donated refugee aid in Euskadi
200 volunteers came to help load a lorry with donated refugee aid in Euskadi

Until now only a handful of refugees have made it to Spain due to government blocking.

Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte were seized by Greek police in the port of Igoumenitsa (Greece), when they were attempting to smuggle eight refugees from there to Euskadi, hidden in a camper van..

The action is part of an initiative of solidarity and denunciation of “unjust migratory policies in Europe and in defense of human rights.”

Image result for Los activistas Mikel Zuloaga y Begoña Huarte han sido detenidosIt was an action of civil disobedience, self-financed by people belonging to various groups and social movements.

They were intercepted and detained Tuesday, December 27, in the port of Igoumenitsa, before crossing into Italy.

From the Platform Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuk point out that “it is probable that the refugees at this moment are already at liberty, since they have not committed any crime”.

However, Zuloaga and Huarte remained in detention pending their appearance before judicial authorities where they were charged with trafficking in human beings, a crime punishable by very high prison sentences in Greece. They have launched a petition for signatures on change.org.

From this platform they emphasize that “they did not traffic in human beings, but, through a disobedient initiative against the European migratory laws, they tried to develop an action of solidarity and of public denunciation”.

Statements by activists Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte after being detained in Greece. (YOUTUBE)efe_20161228_132022_pa1935_15768_1

press conference by Bego and Mikel after their release

ATHENS. Basque activist Mikel Zuloaga and Navarrese Begoña Huarte, accused in Greece of facilitating illegal immigration by trying to transport eight refugees from Greece to Italy, were released on bail last Friday.

The judge investigating the case has imposed on each of them a bond of 2,000 euros, a payment term of 12 days, and the prohibition from leaving Greece until they have paid over the said amount.

Defense sources told Efe that the judge approved her release because she did not see that there was a risk of escape, because in her statement to the court both made it clear that their intention is precisely to be able to appear to make public their cause.

In a videotaped statement for possible detention, Zuloaga and Huarte had stressed that the intention of this action of “civil disobedience” was to make a political denunciation against European policies toward refugees.

In the video, Zuloaga and Huarte publicly acknowledged the “illegality” of their action and stated that they assume the consequences of the initiative.

In the courts of Igumenitsa Greek activists, as well as Spanish volunteers who collaborate in nearby refugee camps, had concentrated to show their support and condemn Europe’s inhuman policies towards refugees.

When leaving the courts Zuloaga thanked those present for the support  but added that “now we want to get out of the focus, because what is important are the refugees.”Image result for Los activistas Mikel Zuloaga y Begoña Huarte han sido detenidos

Huarte, for his part, has said that although this time the action has not gone well, “we will do it again.”

Speaking to the Venezuelan television network TeleSUR, the only media present on the site, both have been satisfied with the impact of their action which, they said, would not have been necessary had the Spanish Government fulfilled its commitments regarding the reception of refugees .

For now, the date of the trial is unknown, in which, in addition to facing the accusation of facilitating illegal immigration, they must respond for grave recklessness to the integrity of the refugees by keeping them hidden in a small space.

Zuloaga and Huarte were arrested last Tuesday in the port of Igumenitsa (northwest of Greece) when they were using a motorhome to board a ferry to Italy.

In the vehicle they carried  eight hidden refugees who they tried to take to the Basque Country.Image result for Los activistas Mikel Zuloaga y Begoña Huarte han sido detenidos

At the hearing today, one of the eight refugees, an Iranian, told the television station that he had made clear at the court that at no point did he feel threatened because the ventilation of the hiddeb passenger compartment they were transported in was good.

Of the eight refugees who were to travel with the activists, six, all of them are asylum seekers and  were released immediately because they were not considered to have committed crimes.

The remaining two, Pakistanis who had not processed their petition, are expected to be released soon, once they have handled their request, defense sources said.

see also: Mediterranean migrant deaths in 2016 pass 5,000: UN

En libertad bajo fianza los activistas Mikel y Begoña detenidos en Grecia

EFE – Viernes, 30 de Diciembre de 2016 – Actualizado a las 17:00h

Declaraciones de los activistas Mikel Zuloaga y Begoña Huarte tras ser detenidos en Grecia.

ATENAS. El activista vasco Mikel Zuloaga y la navarra Begoña Huarte, acusados en Grecia de facilitar la inmigración ilegal al intentar transportar a ocho refugiados desde Grecia a Italia, han quedado este viernes en libertad bajo fianza.

La jueza que ha instruido el caso les ha impuesto a cada uno de ellos una fianza de 2.000 euros, un plazo de pago de doce días, y la prohibición de abandonar Grecia mientras no hayan abonado la citada cuantía.

Fuentes de la defensa señalaron a Efe que la jueza aprobó su puesta en libertad al no ver que existía riesgo de fuga, pues en su declaración ante el tribunal ambos dejaron claro que su intención es precisamente poder comparecer para hacer pública su causa.Image result for solidaridad con refugiados en Euskadi

En un vídeo grabado para el caso de una eventual detención, Zuloaga y Huarte habían recalcado que la intención de esta acción de “desobediencia civil” era efectuar una denuncia política contra las políticas europeas hacia los refugiados.

En el vídeo, Zuloaga y Huarte reconocieron públicamente la “ilegalidad” de su acción y manifestaron que asumen las consecuencias de la iniciativa.

Ante los juzgados de Igumenitsa activistas griegos, así como voluntarios españoles que colaboran en campamentos de refugiados cercanos se habían concentrado para manifestarles su apoyo y condenar las políticas inhumanas de Europa hacia los refugiados.Related image

Al abandonar los juzgados Zuloaga ha agradecido a los presentes el apoyo brindado pero ha añadido que “ahora queremos salir del foco, porque lo importante son los refugiados”.

Huarte, por su parte, ha afirmado que aunque en esta ocasión la acción no ha salido bien, “lo volveremos a hacer”.

En declaraciones a la cadena de televisión venezolana TeleSUR, el único medio presente en el lugar, ambos se han mostrado satisfechos con el impacto de su acción que, dijeron, no habría sido necesaria si el Gobierno español cumpliera sus compromisos respecto a la acogida de refugiados.

Por ahora se desconoce la fecha en la que se celebrará el juicio, en el que además de afrontar la acusación de facilitar la inmigración ilegal, deberán responder por imprudencia grave para la integridad de los refugiados, al llevarlos escondidos en un espacio reducido.refugiados-575x323

Zuloaga y Huarte fueron detenidos el pasado martes por la noche en el puerto de Igumenitsa (noroeste de Grecia) cuando se disponían con una autocaravana a subir a un ferry hacia Italia.

En el vehículo llevaban ocultos a ocho refugiados que pretendían llevar al País Vasco.

En la vista de hoy compareció como testigo uno de los ocho refugiados, un iraní, quien explicó a la citada cadena de televisión que en el juzgado había dejado claro que en ningún momento se sintió en peligro, porque la ventilación del habitáculo en el que iban a ser transportados era buena.

De los ocho refugiados que iban a viajar con los activistas, seis, todos ellos solicitantes de asilo, quedaron en libertad inmediatamente al no considerarse que cometieron delito.rueda-de-prensa-caso-hassanna

Los restantes dos, paquistaníes que no habían tramitado su petición, previsiblemente quedarán en libertad en breve, una vez hayan gestionado su solicitud, señalaron fuentes de la defensa.


see also.. Desalojan a 4.000 refugiados de un campamento en París
“No hay ningún plan para mover a los refugiados de Grecia                           Lee la crónica sobre la detención en Pikara

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