Four Afghans jailed in Greece over Moria migrant camp blaze.

Four Afghan asylum-seekers were sentenced to 10 years in prison in Greece on Saturday for their part in a fire that destroyed the Moria migrant camp last year in a case that highlighted the chronic refugee problem on Europe’s borders.

The men, charged with arson with risk to human life over the fire on the island of Lesbos last September, were found guilty after a court rejected a request by lawyers for three of them to be tried by a juvenile court because they were under 18 at the time.

Before the blaze, Moria was considered Europe’s biggest migrant camp, a sprawling and overcrowded town of tents and improvised shelters notorious for its poor and often dangerous living conditions.

Described by rights groups and the UN refugee agency UNHCR as unfit for humans, the camp had become a symbol of Europe’s stumbling response to the migration crisis on its southern borders, which left much of the burden to be carried by small islands such as Lesbos.

Greek authorities believe the fire was deliberately lit by camp occupants after quarantine measures were imposed following the discovery of cases of Covid-19 among people living on the site.

The blaze sent more than 12,000 people – mostly Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi refugees who had already endured a dangerous sea crossing – fleeing for their lives, forcing most to sleep in the open for days without shelter, food, water or sanitation. No one was killed in the fire.

A new temporary camp was set up on the site of an old army firing range. Tenders have been launched for new closed centres on Lesbos and the nearby island of Chios that the government says will provide safer accommodation, but which critics say risk becoming like prisons.

The four men were among a group of six Afghans detained by police following the fire. The other two were sentenced in March to five years in prison.

Defence lawyers said the men had been framed by a witness and that the court’s decision was “an inconceivable conviction without evidence”. – Reuters

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Cuban-Americans rally outside of White House: 'We want our freedom'.

Cuban-Americans rally outside of White House: 'We want our freedom'.

Luis Luchuga Jr., who fled Cuba at 8 years old, says the protesters are sending a message to the Biden administration that the Cuban people need help. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel ...

Epidemics Don't Have to Happen, Expert Says

Epidemics Don't Have to Happen, Expert Says

New research shows many through proper policies and community outreach epidemics can be prevented or at least largely contained

With Taliban Resurgence, Afghan Women Worry About Future.

With Taliban Resurgence, Afghan Women Worry About Future.

The group’s past refusal to accept women's freedoms and rights has many worried that any progress made in the past two decades will be erased

CDC considers revising mask guidance as delta variant spreads.

CDC considers revising mask guidance as delta variant spreads.

Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed that the CDC is considering revising the mask guidance for fully vaccinated people as COVID-19 cases skyrocket 314% since mid-June.

Live: Biden Delivers Remarks On Anniversary Of Americans With Disabilities Act - NBC News.

Live: Biden Delivers Remarks On Anniversary Of Americans With Disabilities Act - NBC News.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the president co-sponsored as a senator in 1990. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection...

Live: White House Holds Press Briefing - NBC News

Live: White House Holds Press Briefing - NBC News

Watch as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and engaging news stor...