Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers

[This is the outcome of the trial of this case. Other related articles on I can’t relax in Greece here.]

‘Scandalous’ verdict condemned by politicians and anti-racist groups after case that revealed migrant workers’ plight

Helena Smith, Thursday 31 July 2014

Strawberry picker in tears amid crowd

Migrant workers react with shock and tears to the decision to release two of the men on trial; the strawberry pickers had demanded six months’ back pay and four were badly injured. Photograph: Menelaos Mich/Demotix/Corbis

A Greek court’s decision to acquit local farmers who admitted shooting 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they dared to ask for months of back pay has sparked outrage in the country.

Politicians, unionists and anti-racist groups roundly condemned the verdict describing it as a black mark for justice in a case that had shone a light on the appalling conditions in which migrant workers are often kept in Greece.

“I feel shame as a Greek,” said the victim’s lawyer, Moisis Karabeyidis, after the tribunal in the western port city of Patras, delivered the shock ruling. “This decision is an outrage and a disgrace … the court showed an appalling attitude toward the victims.”

Scores of migrants, many sobbing in disbelief, protested outside the court house after magistrates allowed two of the men, including the owner of the farm who had been accused of human trafficking, to walk free.

Two others, accused of aggravated assault and illegal firearms possession, were handed prison sentences of 14 years and seven months and eight years and seven months but were also freed pending appeal…

Read the full story on the Guardian’s website.