A refugee who acts as a ‘contact person’ for other refugees during a smuggling operation is liable to prosecution for aiding and abetting unauthorised entry. That decided now the Federal High Court (BGH).
The justification seems absurd: The 29-year-old Afghan Ismael G. had relieved the smugglers* by assuming the role of contact person for two women travelling alone and their four children. “The smugglers now no longer had to look for another man,” said the presiding judge Jürgen Schäfer and Ismael G., who had done more than was necessary for his own smuggling.
The boat capsized in the Aegean Sea on its way to Europe, 35 people died, including the two women and their children.
It is outrageous that people who have no chance of legal entry and who therefore take on the dangerous crossing to Europe across the Mediterranean and who out of solidarity take care of people fleeing with them should expect punishment. The current case law is far too quick to assume aiding and abetting smuggling.
We stand alongside all those who are being investigated or convicted of solidarity crimes.