Greek Gov't Bombarded with Accusations of Human Rights Violations

By Anadolu News Agency (aa)

Published: Friday, October 07, 2005

Amnesty International severely accused Greece and announced that Athens "continually violates" the human rights of minorities, migrants, refugees and Gypsies.

The organization, in the 80-page report published in Athens, emphasized the rights of foreigners and immigrants "are still a grey area and the rights of marginalized populations of the country are violated."

The report reads Greece, which accepts the existence of only the "Muslim minority" in the country, deprives the Turkish and Macedonian minority from "the freedom of expression, religion and organization."

The writer of the report, Olga Demetriu, in a press meeting, said that "this situation in the EU member Greece is worrisome" and that this dark picture covering the last three years in the report "stemmed from arbitrary practices, frequent failure to ensure justice, despite existing laws and even xenophobia."

Amnesty International reported that the Greek Ministry of Interior Affairs evaluates no independent request regarding refuge and systematically rejects them in the first stage and sends back those who ask for refuge to insecure countries. The report also noted that Greece keeps migrants that ask for refuge with no document, including women and children, in an isolated way under very bad circumstances.

According to the report, a 13-year-old migrant girl, who became pregnant as a result of rape, is being kept in prison. The report included a long list of bad treatments and sexual harassment of the security forces towards the migrants.

Legitimate migrants were reportedly also subject to these practices and the criminals were often remained unpunished.

Amnesty International Greece Office Director Gerassimos Kuvaras said nothing changed since the report published in 2002 and focused on police violence. The fact that "the Gypsies and other minorities were victims of direct or direct discrimination" was also stressed in the report.