Thorough Report From State Department for Greek neo-Nazi Party

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A detailed record on the practices and the nature of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, is incorporated in the International Religious Freedom report that is conducted every year on behalf of US State Department. This report was published on the website tanea.gr.

The authors of this report characterize Golden Dawn as “an openly anti-Semitic and xenophobic political party.”

The report highlights that “expressions of anti-Semitism increased after Golden Dawn members entered parliament.”

The International Religious Freedom Report mentions also that “there were reports of harassment and increasingly violent physical attacks against individuals perceived to be immigrants and refugees, many of whom were Muslim.” In the report it is also recorded that “In April unknown perpetrators drew swastikas on the door of the Jewish cemetery in Ioannina, and vandals painted Stars of David on all banks in Chalkida. In September, vandals defaced the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Drama with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans. In October, vandals painted swastikas on all six sides of the Holocaust monument in Rhodes. Police opened investigations in each case, but did not identify the perpetrators.”

In addition, there was special mention of the Golden Dawn’s first in command, Nikos Michaloliakos, who is under pre-trial custody. The authors of the report underline that “the Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos publicly and repeatedly denied the Holocaust and often gave Nazi salutes at public events.”

For the nature and the practices of Golden Dawn, the report records that “during an October plenary session of parliament, a member of Golden Dawn read passages from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

The report also implied that the Greek government must react quickly and take action, aside from just condemning the neo-Nazi phenomenon with words. “The government publicly condemned some anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents, such as vandalism and destruction of religious monuments. However, observers such as the European Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League called on the authorities to do more to counteract Golden Dawn’s anti-Semitic rhetoric and violent actions. Human Rights Watch and other groups alleged the police took little action to curb violent Golden Dawn activities. The government invoked the law against blasphemy in two cases. In September, the cyber-crime police arrested a 27-year-old man and charged him with blasphemy and insulting religion for setting up a Facebook page using a name that played on the name of a legendary Mount Athos monk. No trial date had been set at year’s end. In November, the Metropolitan of Piraeus filed a blasphemy complaint against the director and actors of the theatrical play “Corpus Christi,” which portrayed Jesus and the Apostles as gay men. An Athens prosecutor pressed charges, but no trial date was set. The theater cancelled performances of the play a few days after its October premiere due to violent protests by some Greek Orthodox priests and Golden Dawn supporters. Several Golden Dawn members of parliament blocked the entrance of the theater and clashed with police on opening night. Police charged one member of parliament with intervening in the arrest of a protestor,” says the report.

The US Secretary of State presented this report to Evangelos Venizelos and stated that despite the fact that the Greek government has repeatedly condemned phenomena of anti- Semitic incidents, global observers called Greek authorities to act more effectively in order to counteract the practices of Golden Dawn.