Hundreds of Bangladeshi workers were recruited to pick strawberries on a farm in Manolada, Greece. They had been promised a wage of €22 euros. But for months they worked without pay, under the supervision of armed guards, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day.
The workers went on strike, demanding payment of their wages, but their employers refused, threatening them with detention and deportation. The employers then recruited new migrants.
The old workers feared they would never be paid. 100 to 150 workers started approaching their employers to demand their wages. One of the armed guards opened fire and seriously injured 30 of them.
The employers and two armed guards were arrested and charged. However, they were acquitted of human trafficking and only convicted of grievous bodily harm and unlawful use of firearms. They were ordered to pay damages to some of the workers – but only amounting to €43 for each victim.
Over 40 of the workers brought their case to the European Court of Human Rights.