A court has handed three-and-a-half year prison sentences to 17 of the 66 migrants arrested from Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday for illegally entering Greece.
The 17, all Afghans, were among the thousands who have gathered at the Greek border since Friday, egged on by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and aided by Turkish authorities, who have provided bus transport to the border. Turkish authorities have left their side of the border open.
The prosecution and sentencing of migrants breaks a longstanding policy of not prosecuting migrants for illegal entry, because they were deemed to be members of a "vulnerable" group. Prosecution was limited to traffickers.
There have been at least 70 arrests since 6 a.m. Saturday. All of them face charges, as well.