The U.S. State Department “Greece 2022: Human Rights Report” describes with gloomy colors the situation in our country and gives a sound slap to the face of conservative Mitsotakis government.
Wiretapping, corruption, lack of transparency, police brutality, refugees push-backs, freedom of expression, are some of the features listed by the U.S. State Department.
The report on the state of Human Rights highlights the gloomy situation and a disheartening picture of a country with third-world characteristics.
“Greece 2022: Human Rights Report” gives Greece “characteristics of a third-world country”, dominated by wiretapping, corruption, lack of transparency, police brutality, refugees, freedom of expression, the Petsas list, which distributed state money with non-transparent procedures, while there is also reference to Qatargate and the pre-trial detention of former European Parliament Vice president Eva Kaili in Brussels.
The 43-page report is part of the annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” issued by the US and it records the scandals of wiretapping and the PETSA list, incidents of police brutality, the Frangoulis murder, violence against immigrants and refugees and the infringement of freedoms of the press and many others.
The report is divided into chapters such as respect for the integrity of the individual, corruption and lack of transparency, discrimination, workers’ rights, respect for freedoms, while there are also subsections such as freedom of expression, conditions of detention and gender violence.
It is worth noting that in most of these categories Greece gets an extremely low grade, reminding more of a third world country and not a modern Western democracy.
Some indicative examples
Police violence and arbitrariness: It is noted that “security forces committed abusive practices”. It cites reports of police mistreatment and abuse of racial and ethnic minorities, while there is a separate reference to the murder of Roma Kostas Fragoulis by a police officer. The Ombudsman’s report on the barrage of complaints about police brutality is also quoted, while it highlights the miserable conditions for prisoners in prisons.
Migrants and Refugees: The report highlights the mistreatment of undocumented migrants, asylum seekers by documenting allegations of violent and dangerous tactics, whether it is beatings or illegal refoulements. “There were reports and complaints from non-governmental organizations and international organizations about the government’s failures to effectively investigate allegations of abusive actions, police practices and forced returns of asylum seekers,” it said.
Media: Restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of the press are recorded either through enforcement or threat of enforcement of criminal libel and defamation laws. An extensive reference is also made to the Commission’s report that expressed its concerns about the PETSAS list, but also about government interference with the media, while the limitations resulting from the “fake news” legislation are also underlined.
Wiretapping: The State Department also makes extensive reference to the wiretapping scandal, noting that “the Constitution and law prohibit such actions, but there have been reports of instances in which the government did not respect these prohibitions.” The report mentions by name the cases of Nikos Androulakis, Thanasis Koukakis and Tasos Teloglou.
So far, there is no reaction by the otherwise very talkative government spokesman or any other official.