Four of the 26 defendants were found guilty of dangerous bodily harm with racist characteristics against refugees and were additionally convicted, without racial motivation, for assaults on solidarity workers and police officers. These individuals received suspended prison sentences ranging from 5 years and 9 months to 6 years. This case marks the first time a court in Lesbos has recognised a racist motive in such a context.

Another 13 defendants were found guilty of aggravated breach of the peace, while others were convicted of simple breach of the peace, receiving sentences of up to one year, suspended, and redeemable. They were acquitted of charges including resisting authority, insulting, and defamation.

Most of those convicted are expected to appeal the decision.

According to local news website, the events of that evening, which followed the traditional Sunday lowering of the flag and an online call from the “Patriotic Movement of Mytilene,” were intensely scrutinised during the hearing. Despite claims that refugees in Sappho Square had mocked the Greek flag by pulling down their trousers, no video evidence or published documents from the time substantiated these allegations.

During the trial, the majority of the defendants, represented by their lawyers, showed no regret for the incidents. They either denied involvement or justified their actions by accusing the asylum seekers of “mockery” and “disrespect” towards their host country, even claiming the authorities were “racist” against the locals and destroying democracy.


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