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article imageCouncil of Europe report: Greece could ban Golden Dawn

By Katerina Nikolas     Apr 17, 2013 in World
A report by the Council of Europe’s human rights watchdog states Greece has adequate legal grounds to ban the political party Golden Dawn, which it accuses of involvement in racially motivated crimes.
Nils Muiznieks, the Latvian Commissioner for the Council of Europe's human rights, compiled the report following a visit to Greece in January 2012. According to the Washington Post the report describes Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) as a “'neo-Nazi and violent political party'” that should be isolated under legally binding international human rights conventions signed by Greece."
The nationalist party Golden Dawn which has 18 deputies in the Greek Parliament, denies it is neo-Nazi or is associated with attacks against immigrants.
ENet reported the report stated: "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."
The report criticised "persistent reports of ill-treatment, including torture, committed by law enforcement officials notably against migrants and Roma." Additionally it criticised migrants detention conditions, migrants rights and changes to the "political participation of long-term resident migrants at local level."
Golden Dawn released a statement saying: "The brazen commissioner did not see and did not hear anything about the murders, rapes and robberies of our people by the barbarian hordes of Asia and Africa."
Speaking to To Vima Mouiznieks drew a clear distinction between violence by the far-right and violence from the far-left, saying racist violence is the biggest threat to human rights in Greece. He said: "But even though the Golden Dawn banned tomorrow the problem of racist violence would continue to exist. The Golden Dawn is only part of the problem which requires a comprehensive response."
Mouiznieks also condemned Greek government politicians, including Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras, for sending out the wrong message. However, he welcomed the establishment of the new anti-racist police agencies and the movement by Athens towards construction of a mosque.
In response Golden Dawn state on their website that Mouiznieks is meddling in the affairs of a supposedly independent state, writing: "This man is the epitome of rudeness and misinformation. The place suffers from the hordes of illegal immigrants that have flooded in, crime, unemployment and degradation of many areas have a direct connection with the illegal presence."
The government has responded to the report by pointing out that Golden Dawn was approved by the country’s Supreme Court before running for power.
More about Areopoli, chryis avgi, Nils Muiznieks, Greece, athens mosque
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