Selfish Altruist Dan – Prosecuted for being a humanitarian

We’re back with our Episode 2 of Season 2 of the Selfish Altruist!

In January 2019, Dan was on a humanitarian mission in the Evros region of Greece when he was arrested for trespassing. What would normally be treated as a minor misdemeanour penalised with a warning or a fine quickly escalated into a ludicrous but very serious charge of espionage. He went on to spend 4 days in a police cell and had to leave the country with all his future plans in tatters.

Dan had been working for a year as our officially recognised Volunteer Coordinator at Katsikas refugee camp in Greece. Even when all the evidence of his purely humanitarian plans were presented to the prosecutor, it still went all the way to a farcical trial two years later where he was quickly found not guilty of all charges.

His case is not unique. Sarah Mardini who recently featured in the film The Swimmers, together with over 20 other humanitarians have just been tried in Lesvos for what Amnesty calls ‘unfair, baseless charges‘.  And that has just ended in similarly farcical circumstances, with the courts now unlikely to convict them of any crime.

There can only be one explanation – that the Greek state has a deliberate policy of criminalising humanitarian workers in an attempt to disrupt, deter and intimidate them. 

Well, it severely disrupted Dan, but it did not deter or intimidate him.

Podcast brilliantly edited by María Nuñez.

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