The president of the Greek Forum of Refugees Yunus Mohammadi told a parliamentary committee on Friday that after official channels failed him he had resorted to paying a human trafficker 8,000 euros to bring his wife to Greece.
The committee is working on a draft law to amend the asylum-providing process in Greece and is hearing testimony from several agencies and organizations.
Mohammadi, an Afghan national who was granted political asylum by Greece in 2004, said he had officially requested a visa for his wife under family reunification procedures.
He said that he had become separated from his wife, who was in Iran and pregnant, sometime after his release from a Taliban jail.
Following unsuccessful attempts to bring her to Greece, he resorted to paying a human trafficker.
During the hearing, he also charged that human traffickers live in the Moria hotspot on Lesvos and “conduct business from there.”
His admission caused the ire of Costas Katsikis, a deputy in the ruling coalition’s ANEL party, who asked him why he resorted to illegal means of bringing her to Greece and had suggested a prosecutor should be notified of the violation.
The deputy, rebuked by two deputies from a different party, including the committee chairwoman, both of whom told Mohammadi he is not obliged to answer.
However, the refugees’ forum president responded, “Let him call in anyone he wants to arrest me. I would hope this case becomes cause to bring the issue out in the open.”
He said he had already told the same things to the European Forum for Migrants in Brussels.
He added, “I had the same reaction there, from a Marine LePen deputy,” referring to the leader of the right-wing populist National Front party.