SYROS - In April 2022, Abdalla Jaloul was convicted to 187 years in prison for human trafficking and homicide.

The young Syrian drove a boat carrying migrants from Turkey to Italy, but near the Greek island of Syros the boat shipwrecked and 18 passengers died.

Human trafficking is considered to be an extremely profitable business, yet the only thing Jaloul earned for his "job” was a free journey. The actual organizer of the crossing, the one all the passengers paid, was not on the boat and was never charged. Jaloul's case is far from an exception. In Spain, Italy, Great-Britain, Greece and France, hundreds of ”captains” who claim to be “just migrants” have been convicted like Jaloul. Through several cases in five European counties (France, Greece, Spain, Italy and UK), our investigation shows how the police and the justice, supported by Frontex, participate in a systematic criminalization of those who are the easiest to find - no matter their actual role in the organization or the profit they did or did not gain.

Our story highlights the complex reality behind these sentences, presented by a lot of politicians as a proof of efficient border control.

📷 Fabien Perrier

Team members

Fabien Perrier

Fabien Perrier is a French freelance journalist based in Athens and Paris.

Max Gyselinck

Taina Tervonen

Taina Tervonen is a a French-Finnish freelance journalist based in Paris.

© Lionel Charrier

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