Arma community sets up support site for devs arrested on spying charges
The ARMA community has rallied together and set up a site in support of the two Bohemia Interactive employees who were arrested last week after allegedly recording footage of military bases in Lemnos. The website, www.helpivanmartin.org houses a petition and an updated news feed relating to the case.
"Facing up to 20 years in prison for taking pictures of an island," the website reads, "just like countless other tourists before them, the Czech developers are being charged with espionage. Only because they happen to work on a computer game, a game that portrays Greece as a battlefield for a fictional futuristic conflict between the USA and Iran in the year 2035.
"Ivan and Martin are no spies, but passionate community members, dedicated to the game and its experience for the player. Many of us have witnessed Ivan talking in interviews passionately about the progress of ARMA3 and all the new features, also developed by Martin.
"It's time to show our support, not only as a community, but as players and concerned citizens, for two developers, who now face a lifetime in prison for an unfortunate misunderstanding."
Meanwhile, Bohemia Interactive themselves have strongly rejected the accusations of espionage which have been levelled against the pair by the Greek authorities.
It's not the first time that civilians have been detained on charges of espionage in Greece for taking photographs - in 2001 12 British plane spotters were held on spying charges. But they didn't have the wrath of the internet at their disposal - perhaps the ARMA community, and gamerdom at large, will prove vociferous enough to give the Greek authorities pause.