Council of Europe's human rights body criticizes Greece

Posted Sep 26, 2012 by Katerina Nikolas
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the human rights body of the Council of Europe, has criticized Greece for failing to tackle racist violence.
European Court of Human Rights  Strasbourg  France
European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France
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Ekathimimerini reported ECRI castigated Greece for failing to implement recommendations it made two years ago. Recommendations included providing aid to victims of racist attacks, raising public awareness and issuing residence permits to migrants.
Additionally the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Greece for violating Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. Ta Nea reported the court ordered Greece to pay damages in the amount of € 8,000 to illegal immigrant Bgilasvili Jeannet, a Georgian national who was arrested and detained in "intolerable and inhumane conditions."
Jeannet was held for deportation along with dozens of other illegal immigrants waiting deportation in the Petrou Ralli barracks. The court upheld his complaint that there were lice in the barracks and no access to drinking water.
PASOK, part of the three-way coalition government, has placed a draft law on stamping out racism and xenophobia at the top of its agenda. When PASOK was in power it drafted a proposal to stamp out racism but never introduced it into law. Athens News reported PASOK stated that racist public statements were beyond the "boundaries of the lawful and moral principles of an organised state."
Since its fall from power PASOK has lost the majority of its voting base that has switched to the extreme left, SYRIZA, or the far-right Golden Dawn. The party failed to clarify if the racist public statements it mentioned referred to the government's statements on illegal immigration, Golden Dawn's statements on illegal immigration, or the statement made by the Head of the Muslim Association of Greece who last week branded Prime Minister Antonis Samaras a racist.
Naim El-Ghandour yesterday made a statement that could be construed as decidedly racist when he said only Pakistanis had vented their anger in this weekend's violent protests in Athens against the film "Innocence of Muslims", drawing a clear distinction between Arabs and Pakistanis in Greece.