09 May 2014

A report by Médecins du Monde (MdM) and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) shows that many of  the victims  of racist violence in Greece who were at first willing to report the attacks to the authorities ended up withdrawing their case. Victims decided to drop their case due to their fear of retaliation and as they were undocumented. MdM and GCR recommend that Greece suspend the detention and deportation of undocumented victims or witnesses of racist violence and grant them a residence permit during the period needed to indict the perpetrators and until a final decision is issued by the court concerning the sentencing of the offender. 

Giorgios Tsarbopoulos, Head of UNHCR Greece, stated that “the need to protect the victims and the witnesses is the most important precondition to combat the impunity [of the perpetrators of racist violence] (..)  There are still no guarantees for the victims of racist attacks who lack legal documents and form the majority of these incidents, to file a complaint”.

MdM and GCR also recommend that Greece establishes an effective and unified system for recording and monitoring racist incidents and hate crimes as well as ensure the efficient and rigorous investigation of the racist motive of the attacks.

The research has been carried out in the context of the “ENOUGH!” Project which aims at raising awareness and informing the public about the need to combat racist crimes, end impunity for perpetrators of such crimes and protect the victims.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 9 May 2014.
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