Protesters face deportation after participating in disruptive anti-Israel demonstrations

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Nine European nationals are set to be deported from Greece for their participation in disruptive anti-Israel demonstrations on the campus of University of Athens School of Law last month.  

The protesters awaiting deportation are from Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain. They were among 28 people of Greek and foreign origin who were detained on charges of disrupting the operation of a public entity and assistance in damaging foreign property, according to court documents.

The protesters have denied any wrongdoing. 

Evidence included leaflets, Palestinian flags, two smoke flares, gas masks, helmets, paint cans and banner poles, along with a statement uploaded on a website in Greek and English urging others to join the protest, according to the documents. 

Protesters wave Palestinian flag and signs

Protesters shout slogans and wave a Palestinian flag during a demonstration outside the University of Athens’ central building in Athens on May 13, 2024. (Theophile  Bloudanis/AFP via Getty Images)

The Greek protesters were released pending trial last Tuesday but the nine foreign nationals – one man and eight women, aged 22 to 33 – remain in custody pending an administrative decision on their deportation.

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Their lawyers said in a statement that deportation orders had been issued, which would prevent the defendants attending their own trial. 

Protesters hold up sign at Greece anti-Israel protest

University of Athens students stage a protest in Athens, Greece, on May 13, 2024. (Costas Baltas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Lawyers Ioanna Sioupouli and Anny Paparoussou said their clients, who live and work in Greece, planned to appeal. Lawyer Vassilis Papadopoulos, representing a 33-year-old Spaniard, called the decision “arbitrary and illegal.” 

Athens anti-Israel protests

University of Athens students set up an encampment within a protest in support of Palestinians in Athens, Greece on May 13, 2024.  (Costas Baltas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

In 2019, Greece’s conservative government scrapped a law that had prohibited police from entering universities, saying the legislation was used as a cover for lawlessness. 

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Demonstrations in support of Palestinians, like in the U.S., have swept Greece in response to Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza. 



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