Dutch journalist arrested for “assisting in asylum”

Dutch journalist Ingeborg Boygel is being prosecuted for “facilitating the illegal residence of an asylum seeker”. According to the prosecution, she provided housing in her home on Hydra Island to an Afghan whose application is pending.

On Sunday 13 June, police arrested 61-year-old Dutch journalist Ingeborg Boygel on charges that she had sheltered a 23-year-old Afghan man, Freidun, who was in Greece as an asylum seeker, at her home.

The woman was charged under a forgotten and problematic 1991 ruling of “facilitating the illegal residence of a third country national”. The journalist was taken to the Hydra police station, and from there, handcuffed, taken to a court in Piraeus, where she was given a three-day term to testify. For this offense, she faces a penalty of imprisonment for at least one year and a fine of at least 5,000 euros. Or double punishment if the goal is to make a profit.

An asylum seeker from Afghanistan was also arrested, transferred to a police station in the suburbs of Piraeus, and released two hours later. A Dutch journalist met an Afghan asylum seeker and his dog at a camp in Malakas in December 2018 while filming a documentary on the economic crisis and migration. He helped her with translations, and when the living conditions in the camp became unbearable for him and his dog, she sheltered the Afghan at home.

Greek edition “Newspaper of the Editors”, which described this story, notes that the inhabitants of the island accepted the new tenant without approval, and in the end someone reported him to the police. Boygel has lived in Hydra for the past 40 years and is a correspondent for several Dutch media outlets. She calls Freyun “my adopted son.”

Her lawyer, who read the case file, said that there were “several anonymous accusations” against his client. The police asked the asylum seeker to find out if she had given him money.

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