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Amnesty International Warns Over Racism Incidents and Police Brutality in Greece


Its annual global report on the state of human rights for 2014 published Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Amnesty International that focuses on human rights and currently has more than seven million members and supporters across the globe. The report highlighted that increased allegations of police brutality were monitored in Greece that were eventually inadequately investigated as well as other unlawful practices such as the “push-back” of migrants attempting to cross the Greek borders.

Among others, the NGO underlined that “new hate crime legislation was adopted in September amid growing concern on the level of racist violence.” In addition, radically motivated crimes were also on the rise in 2014, while the upcoming trial of extreme right, xenophobic party Golden Dawn and Nikos Romanos’ prolonged hunger strike were also mentioned. “Allegations of excessive use of force and ill-treatment by law enforcement officers persisted and continued to be inadequately investigated. Detention conditions remained very poor. The maximum length of administrative detention of irregular migrants was extended beyond 18 months. Unlawful push-backs of migrants across the Greece-Turkey border continued,” the report said.

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights, discrimination cases, hate crimes, tortures and other ill-treatments, arrests of conscientious objectors and the freedom of expression are also monitored by Amnesty International.

Background as published in Amnesty International’s annual report on Greece

In October, the Public Prosecutor proposed the indictment of 67 members and leaders of Golden Dawn, a far right-wing party, for forming, directing or participating in a criminal organization. Fifty-seven individuals, including six MPs, were accused of a series of additional offenses, including the murder of anti-fascist singer Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013, causing “unprovoked bodily harm to migrants,” and unlawful possession of weapons. In November, anarchist Nikos Romanos, detained at Korydallos prison near Athens, began a prolonged hunger strike in protest of the authorities’ refusal to allow him educational leave to attend a university course. He had been imprisoned in October after being convicted along with three other men for an armed robbery. In February 2013, Romanos and two of the other men reported that they were tortured while in detention following their arrest in the northern town of Verria. On December 10, Romanos ended his hunger strike after a legislative amendment was passed allowing prisoners to attend campus courses while wearing electronic tags.

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