State Department: Report on Human Rights in Greece

us-state-department-building.siThe annual report published by the U.S. State Department, which records the state of human rights around the world, sees for 2013 the “unprovoked racist violence against migrants and individuals perceived to be foreigners” as one of the most significant human rights violations in Greece.

The report also mentions that Greek authorities maintain “effective control” over the competent security services, although allegations of some abuse by members of the security services are being brought to light.

The report on human rights practices in Greece is mainly identical to last year’s report. The only alterations brought to the report focus on specific developments related to same incidents taking place over the past year.

The report also makes reference to the poor treatment and prolonged detention of undocumented migrants, to the abuse of migrants, detainees and demonstrators by national security forces, to some incidents of anti-Semitism and to the limitation on the freedom of certain ethnic minority groups to self-identify, while also commenting thoroughly on the activities of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

“Freedom of expression in Greece is institutionalized and protected,” mentions the State Department report, noting that “there were some exceptions,” while referring to racial and social discrimination, as well as hate behaviors.

The report also conveys statements on specific events and complaints by international organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, while stressing that the detention conditions in Greek prisons neither meet international standards nor Greek laws.

“The government took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuse, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government,” states the report.