Racist violence continues to escalate with impunity in Greece

by zoejardiniere

26.10.2012 More has to be done to combat racist violence in Greece, the Racist Violence Recording Network has shown. According to the Network, the main problem lies with the inability or unwillingness of the criminal investigation authorities to record incidents of racist violence, to investigate the cases thoroughly and to arrest the perpetrators. Indeed, it has been found that authorities often deter undocumented victims of the attacks from reporting to the police. No perpetrator of a violent racist attack has been ever sentenced in Greece under the 2008 law which provides for instances where crimes are motivated by racism.

“Today we are sounding alarm bells because racist violence and the threat of fascism have spread and threaten democracy (…) We call on the Greek Government to assume its responsibilities having as first priority the dismantling of neo-nazi groups in the Hellenic Police” said Kostis Papaioannou, former President of Greece’s National Commission for Human Rights.

The Racist Violence Recording Network has registered 87 incidents of racist violence against refugees and migrants from January to September 2012. According to migrant and refugee organizations, the number of known racist violence incidents does not represent the real extent of this phenomenon in Greece and racist attacks take place almost daily.

Most attacks are connected with organised extremist groups, while in some cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks recognized persons associated with the Golden Dawn party among the perpetrators.

The Racist Violence Recording Network brings together UNHCR,; the National Commission for Human Rights; Greek Council for Refugees, ECRE member organisation; the Greek Forum of Refugees and other 21 NGOs and bodies, as well as the Greek Ombudsman as observer.

For further information:

–                     Racist Violence Recording Network, Press Release, Racist Violence Recording Network presents its findings about racist violence in Greece

–                     Racist Violence Recording Network, Findings 1.1.2012 – 30.9.2012

–                     ECRE interview with Miltos Pavlou, Institute for Rights Equality & Diversity, “Victims of racist violence in Greece fear that the police will at best do nothing and at worst mistreat them for coming forward.”

–                     ECRE, Greek Forum of Refugees, Matthias Wiessler, How Much Further – A film about the lives of refugees in Greece.