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article imageHuman Rights Watch claim Greek police ignore racist attacks

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By Katerina Nikolas     Jul 14, 2012 in World
Athens - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a report which claims Greek police are ignoring violent racist attacks against immigrants.
Athens News reported the HRW report stated "Migrants and asylum seekers spoke to Human Rights Watch of virtual no-go areas in Athens after dark because of fear of attacks by often black-clad groups of Greeks intent on violence.
"While tourists are welcome, migrants and asylum seekers face a hostile environment, where they may be subject to detention in inhuman and degrading conditions, risk destitution and xenophobic violence."
Furthermore, HRW said "there was evidence to suggest the perpetrators were members or associated with local vigilante groups and Golden Dawn" although they stated there was no evidence that any attacks had been directed by the far-right party.
The report also claims there is collusion between police and Golden Dawn members. Golden Dawn denies any involvement in the spate of attacks which have increased in recent months.
Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, who came to world attention when he recently attacked a female Communist MP during a live television broadcast, addressed Parliament this week on the issue of illegal immigrants.
Kasidiaris claimed mass immigration is part of a plot to turn Greece into “a wretched protectorate inhabited by subhumans, with no conscience, with no country, with no national culture.”
Alluding to recent crimes which sparked national interest, Kasidiaris went on to say "Greece cannot be a paradise for every criminal element on earth, from Afghan knife wielders to Albanian robbers who wake you up at night in your home with a Kalashnikov pointed at your face."
The Golden Dawn solution to restricting illegal immigration is to mine the vulnerable borders of Greece. Human rights groups have long decried the abysmal asylum centers available in Greece, but the country is reeling under its fifth year of recession and biting austerity and lacks funds to provide more luxurious accommodations.
Anti-immigrant sentiment has been fuelled by the rising tide of violent crimes perpetrated by foreign nationals on Greek soil. However, innocent migrants have paid the price in some recent brutal attacks.
New Democracy, which won the most parliamentary seats in the recent election, was influenced by the rising concern over crime addressed by Golden Dawn. Inevitably New Democracy campaigned to do more to address the issue of illegal immigration, which poses such a problem as over 80 percent of all illegal entrants to Europe now use Greece as their gateway.
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