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Sarah Mardini


Sarah Mardini is a Syrain woman human rights defender. She worked as a migrant rights defender and volunteered in search and rescue operations with the now-defunct Emergency Response Center International (ERCI) between 2016 and 2018. Despite continued cooperation with the authorities, Sarah was arrested for her humanitarian work on 21 August 2018 and spent 106 days in pre-trial detention. The charges made against her include money laundering, espionage and assisting illegal smuggling networks. The case remains ongoing and she faces 25 years imprisonment.


Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Greece have faced an increasingly hostile environment since the refugee crisis in Europe intensified in 2015. HRDs and independent journalists working on the rights of minorities, and those providing humanitarian assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in Greece, are the main targets of persistent acts of harassment and intimidation.

HRDs have been exposed to abuse of power by law enforcement agents and special police forces, including arbitrary restrictions to freedom of movement and the right to privacy, and HRDs have also been verbally and judicially harassed, threatened, preventively detained, interrogated, and had their apartments and belongings searched and/or confiscated.