NEWS

Authorities free migrant rescuers detained for ‘trafficking’

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Greek authorities have released five rescuers working for NGOs that help migrants making the perilous sea crossing from Turkey, police said on Sunday, after they were detained on suspicion of people smuggling.

The aid workers – two Danes working for the NGO Team Humanity, and three Spanish citizens with the organisation PROEM-AID – were detained Thursday when coastguards patrolling off the island of Lesvos found two of them in possession of knives and an undeclared two-way radio.

The prosecutor in Lesvos' main town Mytilene on Thursday opened proceedings against the group on suspicion of "attempting to facilitate the entry of illegal migrants", and they were questioned over the weekend.

"The five detained people have been freed," an official with the island's port police told AFP, without saying who, if anyone, had been charged. [AFP]