İrem GÖL -TDO- A 55 year old man accused of attempting to murder two refugees has appeared in court, reportedly telling prosecutors he acted in defence of his property. He is charged with violating gun laws and the attempted murder of the refugees who live in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp on Lesbos island after he shot at a group of four residents on April 22.
The man claimed that the four refugees trespassed on his land. He also told the court that animals had recently been stolen from his land and he believed that the people he shot at were the trespassers. None of the bullets hit the refugees, but two had to be hospitalised to remove shrapnel embedded in their backs from the gunshot.
The day after the man’s arrest, members of the local community held a rally supporting him. An increase of refugee arrivals to Lesbos at the beginning of March led to a wave of vigilante violence directed at refugees, NGO workers and journalists. Tensions over the future of the Moria camp have been simmering on the island for months.