In what could turn out to be one of the worst injustices in Greece since the trial of Socrates, Sean Binder, an Irish human rights activist who has dedicated himself to saving the lives of Middle Eastern and North African refugees trying to enter Europe, is about to go on trial in the Greek island of Les-os, (that has long been famous as the home of Sappho, one of the greatest poets in all of human history). The Guardian reports that Binder and 22 other activist aid workers could face up to 25 years in prison for humanitarian aid work that they carried out on behalf of refugees trying to enter Greece.

According to the same report, the charges against Binder are so absurd that they even include events which took place before Binder ever entered Greece.

Binder's friend, Syrian-born Sarah Mardini, who had become well-known for saving the lives of drowning refugees off the coast of Turkey, will also go on trial.

Could a large scale injustice and human rights atrocity such as this ever take place in the United States? If the Trump-led Republicans return to power through large scale distortion of our electoral system, amounting to the overthrow of our democracy, persecution of aid workers and others who try to help refugees or other immigrants in the US cannot be ruled out.

In 2019, four women who left food and water for immigrants crossing into the US from Mexico were convicted of a misdemeanor crime in federal court, and could have served up to six months in prison. The conviction was later overturned by a different federal judge.

There could be much worse to come for US human rights activists, as Trump-supporting Republican officials continue to make anti-immigrant white supremacist ideology the centerpiece of their efforts to establish fascist-style dictatorship in America.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard College A.B.
Harvard Law School LL.B.