Two Afghan youths were handed down five year prison sentences in court on Wednesday for starting a fire that burnt down the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.
Nearly 13,000 migrants were displaced after Greece’s largest migrant camp went up in flames in the middle of the night on September 9, 2020.
The two Afghans were 17 years old at the time of their arrest, claiming that they had nothing to do with the fire and were not at the camp when it broke out. The Lesvos court handed down the sentences after a six-hour session, the local bar association told AFP.
The group said there had been a “lack of credible evidence” presented and that it would work to overturn the verdict on appeal.
“While we are disappointed with today’s result, things could have been much worse for the two young men,” the group said in a statement.
“The arson conviction alone could have carried a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.”
The trial of four youths detained in connection to the incident is pending.
Tensions among locals and migrants became heightened following the destruction of Moria. Police reportedly blocked migrants’ entry into the villages as they slept on highway streets.