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Forced Return Would Violate Ban on Torture, Ill-Treatment

(Athens) – Greece should not extradite, deport, or otherwise facilitate the return of a Tajik opposition activist to Tajikistan, where he faces possible torture or ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Mirzorakhim Kuzov, a senior leader of the…
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Canada’s Supreme Court on June 28, 2017 upheld a lower court’s injunction to require Google to delist web pages from a company that had been copying and selling a product belonging to Equustek Solutions Inc.. Google had already delisted all the company’s…
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EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
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Would Exacerbate Dire Conditions for Asylum Seekers

(Athens) – Plans to resume returns of asylum seekers to Greece put the rights of thousands of people at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The move demonstrates once again the European Union’s failure to uphold its human rights obligations and share…
Families waiting for a bottle of water and a sandwich per person at a camp in Idomeni, Greece, March 2016.
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Democracy must be grounded in human rights. To many, that is obvious, but increasingly, we see some in Europe suggesting that democracy is about merely winning elections and then doing whatever the voters are deemed to want.  Democracy, for them, becomes…
Kenneth Roth Headshot
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City’s Prize Honors Human Rights Activism

(Athens) – Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, has been awarded the first City of Athens Democracy Award for his contribution to democracy through a life-long commitment to human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. “I’m…
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Women, Children Fearful, Unprotected; Lack Basic Shelter

(Athens) – Police are failing to protect people during frequent incidents of violence in closed centers on the Greek islands known as “hotspots,” Human Rights Watch said today. The centers were established for the reception, identification, and processing…
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After a year in which Europe’s response to a surge in boat migration went from deeply flawed to truly awful, the situation in 2016 has only deteriorated. EU leaders are becoming increasingly shrill, policy proposals ever more unhinged,…
Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. October 11, 2015.
News
If I said there was a country where a man has just been convicted for satirizing a dead monk, which country would you think of? It probably wouldn’t be a European Union member state, let alone the one that currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency. But…
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Draft Law Should Criminalize Violence, Not Speech or Ideas

Hate crime reform in Greece should focus on tackling racist and xenophobic violence, not criminalizing speech or ideas. Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou announced on October 3, 2013, that he would introduce an anti-racism bill in Parliament in the…
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Abolish 1951 Law; Protect Free Expression

(Berlin) – The Athens public prosecutor’s office should drop its criminal blasphemy investigation relating to a play depicting Jesus Christ and his apostles as gay, Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek authorities should respect free expression and…
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Prosecutor to Investigate Teargas Use, Beatings During Protests

(London) - The Athens public prosecutor's decision to investigate allegations of excessive use of force by the police during recent public protests in Athens is a positive step, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should conduct a parallel…
Report
This report examines the situation of the ethnic Turkish minority of Thrace, a region of Greece. It serves as a follow-up to two earlier reports issued by Human Rights Watch, Destroying Ethnic Identity: The Turks of Greece (August 1990) and "Greece:…