Rector, activists, face crime charges over sitin

A prosecutor on Thursday brought criminal charges of dereliction of duty against Athens University Rector Theodoros Pelegrinis in connection with a sitin by more than 200 undocumented migrants at the Athens Law School last month.

The same prosecutor charged another eight people, believed to have been involved in getting the migrants into the Law School’s premises, with disturbing the peace and causing damages to public property.

The 237 immigrants, who are in the fourth week of a hunger strike in a campaign to get legal residence status, have been staying at a neoclassical building near central Athens since the end of last month when their sitin at the Law School was broken up.

Most of the protestors staying at the Villa Ipatia are economic migrants from North African countries, some of whom have been working on Greek farms and building sites for years.

Last week a group of doctors monitoring the health of the hunger-striking migrants appealed to the Health Ministry to intervene, noting that the condition of many of the protesters had become dangerously fragile.

The owner of Villa Ipatia, Constantinos Routzounis, has appealed to a prosecutor to evict the migrants, saying he offered his property as temporary accommodation for the migrants to break the impasse at the Law School and as a personal favor to Pelegrinis.

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