• 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.

  • A homeless man sleeps on the street in central Athens. In March 2014 Cephas Lumina, the then-UN expert on foreign debt and human rights, pointed to a 25 percent increase in homelessness generally since 2009, citing estimates by nongovernmental organizations of at least 20,000 homeless people in Greece in 2014.
    Police in Athens frequently harass and abuse homeless people, people who use drugs, and sex workers.