May 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Slap in the face of Mitsotakis: The US State Department published the “Report on human rights in Greece”

The report of the US State Department “Greece 2022: Human Rights Report” in gloomy colors describes the situation in our country and gives a weighty slap in the face to the conservative government of Mitsotakis.

Wiretapping, corruption, lack of transparency, police brutality, opposition to refugees, pressure on freedom of expression are some of the characteristics listed by the US State Department.

Greece 2022: Human Rights Report gives Greece “characteristics of a third world country” where the authorities eavesdrop on the opposition and journalists, there is massive corruption, there is a lack of “transparency”, the police show excessive brutality, the rights of refugees are violated and freedom of speech is oppressed. In addition, the report mentions the Petsas list, which distributed public money with non-transparent procedures, and also mentions Qatargate and the preliminary opinion of the former vice-president of the European Parliament, Greek Eva Kaili.

The 43-page report is part of the US’s annual “Country Human Rights Report” and documents wiretapping and PETSA listing scandals, police brutality, Franguli’s murder, violence against immigrants and refugees, violation of freedom of the press and many others.

The report is divided into chapters such as respect for the integrity of the individual, corruption and lack of transparency, discrimination, workers’ rights, respect for freedoms, as well as subsections such as freedom of expression, conditions of detention and gender-based violence. It is worth noting that in most of these categories, Greece scores extremely low, resembling a third world country rather than a modern Western democracy.

Some illustrative examples:

Police violence and arbitrariness. It is noted that “the security forces committed numerous abuses.” There are reports of police mistreatment of racial and ethnic minorities, as well as a special mention of the killing of a gypsy Kostas Fragulis by a police officer. Also cited is the Ombudsman’s report on the flurry of complaints of police brutality, which highlights the appalling conditions in prisons.

Migrants and refugees. The report highlights the mistreatment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers by documenting allegations of brutal and dangerous acts, be it beatings or illegal refoulement. “There have been reports and complaints from non-governmental organizations and international organizations about the government’s failure to effectively investigate allegations of abuse, police action and forced return of asylum seekers,” the report said.

MASS MEDIA. Restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fixed either through the enforcement or the threat of enforcement of laws criminalizing libel and defamation. An extensive reference is also made to the commission’s report, which expresses concern about the PETSAS list, government interference in media activities, and highlights the limitations stemming from “fake news” legislation.

Listening to telephone conversations. The State Department refers at length to the wiretapping scandal, noting that “the constitution and law prohibit such activities, but there have been reports of cases where the government did not comply with these prohibitions.” The report mentions by name the cases of Nikos Androulakis, Thanasis Koukakis and Thassos Teloglu.

The full US Department of State report Greece 2022: Human Rights is here.

So far, there has been no reaction from a very talkative government representative or any other official. It seems that the Mitsotakis government did not expect that Washington could So deal with their loyal vassals. Megaro Maximo, apparently, did not take into account that the elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives were won by the Republicans, who do not have such “tender” feelings for the Greek “new democrats” as they did under the rule of the US Democratic Party. And even if this report is ignored in the offices of Megaro Maximo, the opposition will not fail to take advantage of it, which is rapidly catching up with the ruling party in terms of ratings.

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