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Press release (23/6/2023)

All of us who gathered on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at the Athens Bar Association, responding to the call for an open meeting of lawyers and jurists for the fatal criminal shipwreck off Pylos on June 14, 2023 – lawyers, citizens and representatives of organizations in the field:

We voice our disgust at the tragic death of hundreds of our fellow human beings and express our sadness and pain to their families and loved ones.

We express our belief that this fatal shipwreck could have been avoided, as the overloaded ship had been spotted in time and the danger it was in had been identified many hours before it sank. But the competent bodies of the Coast Guard, as well as Frontex, which were watching the incident, refrained from any rescue action. In fact, there is evidence of an attempt to tow the ship by the vessel of the Greek Coast Guard, without it being known for what purpose or in which direction. In any case, the criminal liabilities of the state authorities responsible for the salvage operation of the ship off Pylos must be investigated regarding committing felonies by acts or omissions. It is necessary for there to be a true and objective, independent from state interest, exhaustive investigation of the circumstances of the shipwreck. That is for the truth to emerge and for the responsibilities to be assigned to all those who were involved with the incident in any position and in any capacity.

The first open meeting on June 22, attended by over 70 people, was an opportunity for a rich discussion with interventions by lawyers active in the field, figures from human rights organizations and representatives of anti-racist movements.

We decided to create an Initiative of Lawyers and Jurists for the shipwreck of Pylos, with the aim of revealing the whole truth about the circumstances of the wreck and in order to render justice. We seek to create a space that helps highlight, document and record the facts, and empower victims, their families and their representatives in their fight for justice, through all the required political and legal actions. We ask all Bar Associations in Greece to undertake similar initiatives.

We are open to cooperation and coordination with every individual and collective fighting for the same cause. The initiative will meet again to discuss our next steps and actions.

To contact us, email: [email protected] .