Hasan was charged despite other passengers, including N., stating that Hasan simply took the wheel because someone had to. “Hasan carried his paralyzed mother on his back when we got into the boat”, Ibrahim, one of the survivors, recalls. N. stresses that he does not blame Hasan for the death of his child, but the fact that they had no alternative but to take the dangerous journey.
N.: “No matter how many times you repeat it, it was not the driver’s fault. He is just a migrant and his family was also there, he didn’t do anything wrong, he is not to be blamed. I just ask for this, I want this person to be released.”
Instead, N. filed a lawsuit against the Greek Coast Guard on 23 March 2021 for delaying the rescue and failing to render assistance, therefore leading to the death of his son. On the gravestone of his son it reads: “It wasn’t the sea, it wasn’t the wind, it was the policies and fear.”
The shipwreck of 7 November 2020 and the death of N.’s son were neither the fault of N. and Hasan, nor were they an unfortunate tragedy. They are the direct result of the EU’s escalating closure of borders, leaving people with no alternative than to risk their lives and those of their families on increasingly life-threatening journeys. N. and Hasan are being scapegoated to divert attention from the EU’s responsibility for these deaths, shifting the blame to those already suffering the most.
In its attempt to stop people from coming to Europe by any means necessary, the EU is resorting to ever more cruel and absurd measures.
Hasan: “This must end. I am the caretaker of my family and I have to support them, because my mother is paralyzed, I have a sister that is very young and my brother has psychological problems. I really need to be with them. Their only caretaker is me. And now, because of this boat driver story I just don’t know what I should do.”