Greek Court Convicts Migrants, Refugees of Camp Violence

Moria camp, Lesvos (file photo)

A Greek court has convicted dozens of refugees and migrants on serious charges stemming from violence last year on the Aegean islands.

The guilty verdicts for 32 people for injuring 11 police officers and attempting to injure 13 more come as local media on the nearby island of Lesvos report new disturbances at the island’s Moria camp on Sunday night.

Lesvos News reported that several people had to be hospitalized after brawling erupted in the overcrowded camp.

The defendants at Monday’s hearing had been arrested during clashes at the Moria camp last July. Each received a 26-month suspended sentence.

According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) they are expected to be freed as they appeal the judgement and have been in custody since last year.

AMNA also reports that they were acquitted of charges of arson, resisting arrest and damaging property due to a lack of eyewitness evidence.

Last week, Greek authorities said up to 30 people were hurt during overnight clashes between migrants and angry locals, identified by some reports as being right-wing extremists, in the capital of Lesvos, Mytilene.

Greek police said 120 migrants, mostly Afghans, who had been squatting Sappho Square in Mytilene, were arrested.