Amnesty Report reveals links between police and Golden Dawn in Greece

The human rights organisation Amnesty International published a report on Greece that

- details the excessive use of police force against demonstrations, journalists, Roma, immigrants and other vulnerable groups,
- shows the links between police officers and the extreme right-wing party Golden Dawn and
- underlines the impunity of those policemen accused of brutalities or even torture.

With Greece in its 6th year of economic crisis, with declining incomes, increasing unemployment and poverty, and the social fabric of its society falling apart, social tensions have risen. Amnesty underlines that especially in such circumstances peaceful protestors and those vulnerable should expect protection against attacks from far-right groups. It blames governments for looking the other way.

"And also the European Commission looks the other way. It endorses policies that privatize water services, reduce minimum wages, cut in public spending for health and education and dismissal of public employees that contribute to the social tensions in Greek society and the rise of the far-right but the funding for well-resourced and staffed independent police and oversight authorities which could address the problems Amnesty describes is lacking," says Jan Willem Goudriaan of EPSU. " We need an end to austerity and a focus on investment, sustainable growth and redistribution of wealth which offer the prospect for jobs for younger and older people".

While the report does not cite examples of police violence against trade unionists, EPSU has received reports that this happens as well and trade union leaders have been arrested during peaceful protests.

Amnesty International makes a larger number of recommendations on what should be done. The most important is that the government should muster the political will to address the problems and take concrete measures including the prosecution of those police staff accused of violating the law.

The Amnesty Report is available : http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR25/005/2014/en

Also the Council of Europe published a report on the impact of austerity policies on human rights in Europe.

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