2012-12-20 23:33:44 UTC
there, a small minority of them, elected their tyrants in the far
past. Actually, election does not make it "democracy" as long as the
elected and electors do not respect basic human rights and freedoms.
Their forefathers did not know that, and did not care anyway then, and
not even now.
Amnesty accuses Greece of inhuman migrant treatment
December 20 2012
Picture: A man walks past a pro-migrant graffiti in Athens. A Greek
police officer (inset) conducts a body search on an immigrant. Amnesty
International accused Greece of endangering migrants’ lives. REUTERS
Amnesty International accused Greece yesterday of endangering the
lives of undocumented migrants and refugees and detaining them in
“inhuman” conditions, as the crisis-racked country cracks down on
In a statement released a few days after 21 migrants died trying to
cross the Aegean Sea in a boat, the rights group’s Greek branch
accused the police of repeatedly jeopardizing migrants’ lives by
turning back intercepted boats, even knifing one group’s inflatable
dinghy and sending another boatload back with no life vests.
“Amnesty International has received reports that even people fleeing
from conflict and wars in countries such as Syria are being pushed
back to Turkey at the river Evros,” the natural boundary between
Greece and Turkey, the group said. “The situation in Greece today is
totally undeserving of the Nobel Peace Prize recently awarded to the
European Union,” the group’s director for Eastern Europe and Central
Asia, John Dalhuisen, said.
Amnesty said it had visited a number of detention centers in July and
August and found conditions to be “inhumane” and “demeaning,”
according to Agence France-Presse.
Amnesty reported the testimony of a group of Syrians who said Greek
police had intercepted their dinghy in June in the middle of the river
Evros. The migrants said the police vessel began to push the dinghy
back toward the Turkish side of the river, and a policeman struck the
inflatable boat with a knife and sank it.
Xenophobic attacks on the rise: Rights groups
In another alleged incident in August, a group of Syrians were put in
boats on the river without life vests. When they reached the Turkish
side, 15 of the 40 people originally in the boats were missing, the
Other migrants spoke of insurmountable obstacles in lodging asylum
claims, as Greek authorities would only accept a small number of
applications, exposing the remaining would-be refugees to arrest and
Human rights groups warn that xenophobic attacks on migrants and
refugees are on the rise in Greece, where economic hardship and crime
have fueled the rise of far-right and vigilante gangs. Greece has seen
a surge in neo-Nazi activity, with the far-right Golden Dawn party
winning an unprecedented 18 seats with 7 percent of the vote in June
Greek authorities and Frontex, the agency that helps border
authorities from different EU countries work together, have tried to
stem the flux of migrants since 2010.
Exploitation in Italy
In a separate report, Amnesty International has alleged widespread
exploitation of foreign migrant workers in Italy, saying they often
receive less than the minimum wage and sometimes are not paid at all,
The Associated Press reported.
The group said that studies have found a “pattern of labor
exploitation” of migrants across Italy, particularly in southern
farming areas. The group credits Italian investigators for prosecuting
some “extreme” cases of exploitation, but contends less serious abuses
often go unpunished.