16 November 2020
A six-year old boy recently drowned after a boat on which he was travelling ran into trouble off the coast of Samos. The Greek authorities are charging his father with "suspicion of endangering a life" and he could face ten years in prison. The pilot of the boat was also arrested, on smuggling charges, "a ridiculous charge as nearly all those who steer the boats are those who cannot afford to pay the full fare".
Greek authorities arrest father of 6-year-old who drowned off the coast of Samos (Are You Syrious?, link):
"On Sunday night, a boat carrying 27 people was in distress off the coast of Samos. Choose Love says that we do not have the details of what exactly happened, but tragically a six-year-old ended up losing his life and six people (including two pregnant women) are still missing. While the survivors were taken to the camp on Samos to quarantine, the father of the boy was arrested along with the driver of the boat. The father was taken in for “suspicion of endangering a life” and if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison."
And: Chilling Times on Samos (Samos Chronicles, link):
"2 days after the quake a fire in the jungle left over 250 refugees homeless. And now this morning another major fire in the camp. A Somalian friend who has been burnt out this morning told us of her terror at waking up in the smoke, of grabbing a few things and then running for her life. This is the second time she has been burnt out this year. Then on November 9th ,between the 2 fires, a refugee boat carrying 27 people arrived from Turkey. This is the first such arrival on Samos for many months. But it ended in tragedy as the boat was thrown onto the rocks on a remote and dangerous part of the coast south east of Vathi. One six year old boy died. 6 people are still missing, 2 of whom are thought to be pregnant.
As is the norm here, the police arrested the young Afghani man steering the boat as being a smuggler. It is a ridiculous charge as nearly all those who steer the boats are those who cannot afford to pay the full fare. He can expect to be found guilty and a significant jail sentence.
Bad enough, but the sadness of these events takes on a new dimension of horror. Not only did the police arrest and charge the boat driver as expected, they also arrested the father of the dead boy and charged him with exposing a minor to danger (law 4619/2019). This is a new law and it is the first time we have seen it used on Samos."
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