“I am seriously concerned about the introduction by the government of the amendment to Article 19 of the draft immigration code which would allow deportation following the rejection of any migrant’s complaint that they have been victim of racist or other unlawful violence by law enforcement officers.
This amendment is ill-advised and should not be adopted. In effect, it shifts the burden of proof onto the migrant complainants and introduces one more ground for deporting migrants who may have been subjected to unlawful violence but have been unable to substantiate their claims.
Continue reading ‘Commissioner Muižnieks calls on the Greek Parliament to reject the amendment to Article 19 of the draft immigration code’
While impunity of racist violence remains a persistent problem in Greece, the Greek government not only refrains from addressing it, but is proceeding to institutionalize it, and furthermore to penalize its victims! Last week it submitted to parliament an amendment to the country’s Immigration Code that mandates the deportation of immigrants who accuse state employees of using violence against them, in case their claims are officially rejected. It is hair-raising: this provision is a deterrent, punishing not the aggressors but the victims.
The Minister of Interior has temporarily redrawn from the amendment but announced it will be back next week. At the same time the whole article 19 of the code is gone, which concerns the possibility to receive a residence permit on humanitarian grounds also for victims of racist violence.
The Monaghan Report on the scandalous death of Jimmy Mubenga during his expulsion from Britain highlighted the broader issue of the inhuman treatment of immigrants in Europe. We become more and more accustomed to their demonisation and dehumanisation; even worse, the recent “Go Home” vans campaign in Britain warns that immigrant-bashing might soon become something like official policy. A system in crisis needs scapegoats, and the immigrants come in handy here, being much sexier scapegoats than bankers. Could this be a prelude to a wider authoritarian turn? Just watch what is happening in Greece.
The plight of the newcomers has often been described in words and in film. It does not lack official sanction. Before the elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose extreme Right past and affiliations are no secret, decried that “our cities have been occupied by illegal immigrants; we will take them back”. This would actually be an act of charity towards Greek children: “Kindergartens are now full of immigrant children, and Greeks cannot enter. This will stop!” he added. Nikos Dendias, Minister for Public Order, put things into perspective: “Immigration is a problem perhaps greater than the [economic crisis]”. Such declarations are not taken by the police as implying that immigrant rights are sacrosanct. As for the judicial and the administrative system, they protect these rights no better. In all, asylum seekers are systematically detained and face inhuman or degrading treatment. This is not leftist rhetoric, but an official statement of the highest EU Court of Justice, which in 2011 put a ban on the deportation of asylum seekers to Greece for exactly that reason.
Continue reading ‘The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos’
Message of the Association of Sudanese Refugees:
On Friday 19/7/2013 time 10:15 PM in the area Koliatsou near Patision Street in Athens a Sudanese refugee under status of humanitarian asylum was shot with a pistol on his left hand. He is in Greece since many years. He has family: two boys and one daughter. He tred to get income for his family in order to survive. Unfortunately, he was injured. A lot of blood coming out of his hand due to this unprovoked attack from unknown people – as usual. There are so many victims with out protection.
Please dear friends of poor refugees, tell me who is responsible!!!
“Fascist attack on an immigrant house in Tauros by Golden Dawn thugs”, is decried by the movement ‘United Against Racism and the Fascist threat’ (KEERFA).
The communication reports:
“The attack took place on Friday night when 6 fascists broke into a migrants’ residence by breaking the window. In the beginning they pretended to be policemen and they asked for ‘papers’, but when the immigrants asked for a police patrol car to assist they started abusing and beating them, telling them they are Golden Dawn members.
After beating them, they stole work-related paperwork, some small electric appliances as well as a small amount of money. All this, with the neighbors looking stunned. When the immigrants recognized two of their attackers then they all rushed away.
We call the collectives, the unions and the local actors to denounce the racist crimes against immigrant workers.
We denounce the racist deeds of the thugs and murderers of Golden Dawn who try to terrorize the workers movement. KEERFA together with the neighborhood will respond with collective mobilization so that we will be able to isolate the murderous tactics of fascist groupings.
The present report consists of two parts: First, the quantitative and qualitative findings of recording incidents of racist violence, through interviewing victims, by organizations participating in the Racist Violence Recording Network during 2012; and, second the Network’s positions on state responses and initiatives to combat racist crimes, including the adoption or amendment of relevant legislation or initiatives to do so.
Continue reading ‘2012 Annual Report of the Racist Violence Recording Network’
Strasbourg, 16 April 2013 – CommDH(2013)6
REPORT by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Following his visit to Greece, from 28 January to 1 February 2013
Commissioner Nils Muižnieks and his delegation visited Greece from 28 January to 1 February 2013. In the course of this visit the Commissioner held discussions with state authorities and non-governmental, national and international organisations. The present report focuses on the following human rights issues:
I. Intolerance and hate crimes in Greece – the need for urgent action
The Commissioner is seriously concerned by the increase in racist and other hate crimes in Greece, which primarily targets migrants and poses a serious threat to the rule of law and democracy. A number of the reported attacks have been linked to members or supporters, including MPs, of the neo-Nazi political party “Golden Dawn” which won seats in parliament in June 2012. Continue reading ‘New report on Greece published by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’
Racist violence a real threat to democracy in Greece
Athens, 01/02/2013. “Impunity for the rising number of racist crimes in Greece has to end. The police, prosecutors and courts need to become fully acquainted with and give effect to existing anti-racism legislation, including the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination by which Greece is bound”, stated Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of his five-day visit to Greece.
Continue reading ‘Greece: Commissioner Muiznieks says racist violence is a real threat to democracy’
A young male from Pakistan aged 27 was murdered yesterday late in the morning at approximately 3.30am, at the area of Petralona in the centre of Athens. The perpetrators were two Greek men aged 28 and 24 years old. The young Pakistani was attacked with a knife and died shortly afterwards. After the murder the two men tried to ride away on their motorbike, but the neighbours and eyewitness of the murder kept track of their license plates, they were arrested soon thereafter near Syntagma square by the Police. Anti-racist organizations are calling for a protest in the neighbourhood today in the afternoon. Police still didnt make any official statement concerning the perpretator’s motivation but everyone in the area is talking about a racist murder.
According to some recent news the perpetrators attacked the man because he had not given them priority (who were riding a motorbike) while he was riding his bicycle.