Solidarity is not a crime

Lola Gutierrez, anarchist and trade unionist of the Spanish CGT, is being persecuted because she helped a young Kurdish refugee leave Greece and reunite with his family.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
Solidarity is not a crime - NewsMavens
Lola Gutierrez at the Barcelona Airport. Youtube.

Why this story matters:

In November 2016, Lola Gutierrez attempted to help a Kurdish political refugee -- who had no official documents -- travel from Greece to Barcelona in order to continue his journey to Germany, where his family lives.

She and the young refugee were arrested in November 26, 2016 at the Eleftherios Venizelos while trying to go through passport check pretending to be mother and son.

Gutierrez was accused of facilitating movement for a person without legal documents, and was detained without possibility of release. She was transferred to the refugee detention center in Elliniko, where she remained until December 8. She was then deported to Spain.

She could be sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. She admits to having tried to lie to border guards, but maintains that helping refugees is not a criminal offense. Gutierrez's persecution recalls similar cases when well-intentioned assistance for refugees was criminalized -- a tendency that intensified since 2016, within the framework of a European policy on closed borders.

Details from the story:

  • The hearing of the appeal is in December 18, 2018.
  • Solidarity organizations have called for gathering outside the Court of Appeals in Athens.
  • "We want Lola to return to her home after the trial, free of charge and without pending charges", the solidarity members say. 
  • In central Athens, Solidarity Initiative is hosting an event to support Gutierrez.
  • "Immigration is a human right and neither governments nor laws can prevent it. The implementation of the agreement between the European Union and Turkey has killed thousands of people in the Mediterranean Sea. The refugee camps throughout Greece, the expulsions, the deportations, the imprisonments, the delayed family reunifications and the violent repression contribute to the preservation of Fortress Europe fighting to make its borders inviolable", says Solidarity Initiative.
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