support for sean | 

Irishman due to stand trial on spying, money laundering and smuggling charges in Greece

Politicians have been accused of doing ‘f**k all’ for an Irishman who spent 106 days in a Greek jail three years ago.

Sean faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted

Gerry Hand

Politicians have been accused of doing ‘f**k all’ for an Irishman who spent 106 days in a Greek jail three years ago. The accused is set to travel back there early next month to face spying, money laundering and smuggling charges.

He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted.

Sean Binder, from Castlegregory in Kerry, was arrested on the Greek island of Lesbos when he was working with an NGO group rescuing African migrants from the Aegean sea when they got into difficulty attempting to enter Greece illegally.

Seán’s supporters have started a campaign to raise awareness of his plight and that of other humanitarian workers in Greece.

They are appealing to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, and the Papal Nuncio to intercede on behalf of the volunteer who is to be put on trial and request that the charges be dropped.

However, they have become frustrated at the lack of political response.

Michelle Flannery is one of Sean's campaign organisers

Michelle Flannery, one of the campaign organisers told, ‘‘Our local TD, Brendan Griffin promised to speak to Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney for us, but that was months back and we have heard nothing since, to be honest the government is doing f**k all for Sean.

"I have seen the evidence they are using and they haven’t a lot on him.

"However the concern we have is the Greek authorities are trying to deter illegal immigrants and are clamping down on groups who try to help them, so we are worried they could throw the book at him in a bid to deter others.

"But they are targeting the wrong people, all Sean, who is a trained rescue diver, and the others were doing was saving people from drowning and occasionally taking dead bodies from the water, the ones the Greeks should be going after are the big time traffickers.

"Sean was actually working with the police over there helping to get people from the sea, they knew him as a good guy and yet he was still thrown in prison.

"Back in 2018 he was thrown in jail for just over three months and we had to raise €5k locally as bail money to get him home, but we always knew the trial date would come around.

"He was always going to travel back and face down the charges, he is a Trinity graduate and is currently studying law, it would be difficult to be called to the bar if he has a criminal conviction.

"Politicians pulled out all the stops, and rightly so, for Ibrahim Halawa when he was jailed in Egypt, they can’t be allowed ignore Sean’s situation," she said.

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