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M. HANAD ABDI: He saved 31 lives and got sentenced to 142 years in Prison

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

M. Hanad Abdi was charged with the crime of transporting 33 third-country nationals to the borders of Greek territory in a way that could result in a danger to a person and which resulted in the death of two passengers. In 2021, the first-instance court, imposed on him the heaviest total sentence of 142 years in prison.


Dimitrios Choulis, one of the lawyers of HRLP and HRLP's partner Alexandros Georgoulis were the lawyers representing M. Hanad Abdi before the Court of Appeal in Mitilini (Lesbos) on Monday 9th of January 2023. They managed to get his sentence reduced to eight years thanks to his "good behavior" in custody, his "more than 400 days of general work completed", and the fact that he had already served two and a half years in prison. He will be released from jail after a month.


Alexandros Georgoulis comments

The law is completely obsolete, we now know that smugglers no longer approach the Greek coast to avoid arrest and let the migrants guide the boats on their own.

and Dimitrios Choulis to complete:

We are very happy that he will soon be released, but let's not forget that this innocent person will have a criminal record for the rest of his life, which may also weigh on his future asylum procedures.

His case has inspired a wave of support as it is a typical case of a refugee, who at gunpoint was forced to take the helm of the boat he was on, a man who never had the thought or conviction to commit an act, which is criminal under the Greek legal system, but its ultimate goal has always been to ensure a safe living in some European country.


To find out more information about the case:

Our advocacy work related to the case:




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