Will Sara Mardini be sentenced to many years in prison because of her humanitarian commitment? We will have to wait until the end of his trial to find out. This young Syrian woman became known with her sister for having inspired the scenario of the film entitled Les Nageuses, broadcast since November 2022 on Netflix. Sara Mardini is accused by Greek justice of espionage, migrant smuggling, or even money laundering in the context of a trial targeting 24 humanitarian workers. This officially opened on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 in Greece, as reported by the newspaper Le Monde the next day.

Aged 27, Sara Mardini is now based in Berlin, Germany. She was trained to swim from an early age by her father along with her sister, Yusra. Together they saved the lives of 18 refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos in 2015. To do so, the two sisters pulled an overloaded and submerged dinghy. It is precisely because of this humanitarian commitment that Sara Mardini now finds herself in court in Greece. A student of economics and social sciences at Bard College in Berlin, a prestigious private university, the young Syrian saw her life change dramatically in August 2018. At that time, she was a volunteer with the Greek NGO Emergency Response Center International ( ERCI) for two years.

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Sara Mardini: “I was arrested for giving water and blankets to refugees”

On August 21, 2018, Sara Mardini was about to return to Germany when she was arrested at Lesvos airport by the Greek authorities. Initially placed in pre-trial detention for espionage, the student was then transferred from the Lesbos police station to the high security prison of Korydallós, located near Athens. In total, Sara Mardini was imprisoned in this establishment for 107 days. She was eventually released after paying bail of 5,000 euros. “I was arrested for giving water and blankets to refugees,” she told a TED talk in London in January 2020.

Sara Mardini: why does the young Syrian who inspired a Netflix film risk prison?

Sara Mardini © Instagram

Maria T.
Maria T.

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