The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe is to visit Athens to investigate allegations of attacks against immigrants and journalists by the far-right Golden Dawn.
Nils Mouiznieks, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, told To Vima that the council is closely monitoring the situation in Greece. He will visit Athens to investigate any links between the far-right political party, which entered parliament for the first time in the June 17 elections, and the Greek police. Half of the Greek police force voted for Golden Dawn in the election.
Mr. Mouiznieks said "We received information that the Greek police is not doing its job in terms of racist crimes. We must thoroughly investigate any links of the Golden Dawn with police, as well as how to deal with racist violence by the police."
His remarks follow a report issued this week by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Greek police are ignoring racist attacks on immigrants. Digital Journal reported that the HRW alleged collusion between the police and Golden Dawn members, though "there was no evidence that any attacks had been directed by the far-right party."
The Commissioner went on to say that the rise of the far-right is not unique to Greece but Golden Dawn "is more open to extremist and Nazi views than any other party in Europe." However, he acknowledged that Golden Dawn is a legitimate political party under Greek legislation as Article 29 Paragraph 1 of the Greek Constitution decrees.