• Acknowledging alarming levels of xenophobic violence, the government created specialized police units, and there were some prosecutions for racist attacks. Access to asylum outside Athens and in detention remains difficult. Asylum seekers face detention for up to 18 months, often in unacceptable conditions. Tens of thousands of people were subject to abusive police stops, including arbitrary deprivation of liberty, based on little more than appearance as part of a crackdown on irregular immigration. Persistent allegations of collective expulsions of asylum seekers at sea prompted calls for an independent inquiry. Regulations allow detention for forced HIV testing and of migrants and asylum seekers on broad public health grounds. A blasphemy conviction for a satirical Facebook page raised freedom of speech concerns.

  • Ali Mohammadi, a 25-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, said a police officer asked him why he had not fought back when he filed a complaint after a group of men attacked him in March 2011 in Aghios Panteleimonas square in Athens.
    Greece’s new government should move quickly to tackle longstanding human rights violations.