Posts Tagged ‘Golden Dawn’

Historic Conviction Against Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party

October 8, 2020

Justice Delivered in Greece

Magda Fyssa, the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict in Athens, October 7, 2020. 
Magda Fyssa, the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict in Athens, October 7, 2020.  © 2020 AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

Living in Greece as I do, I can only warmly endorse the reactions of the international human rights community (here Human Rights Watch): In a momentous ruling today, an Athens appeals court found that the far-right neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was operating as a criminal organization. The court also found that members of the group orchestrated or colluded in the 2013 murder of 34-year-old antifascist activist and rapper Pavlos Fyssas, the 2013 murder of 27-year-old Pakistani national Shehzad Luqman, and numerous brutal attacks against migrants, trade unionists, and human rights defenders.

It’s a landmark victory for the victims, their families, and civil society says HRW. An estimated 20,000 people who gathered in downtown Athens erupted in cheers when they heard the verdict. Magda Fyssa cried out, “You did it, my son!” perhaps finally finding some meaning in the otherwise senseless loss of her son Pavlos.  

People holding a banner depicting Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013, gather for a protest outside a court in Athens, Wednesday, October 7, 2020. 
People holding a banner depicting Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013, gather for a protest outside a court in Athens, Wednesday, October 7, 2020.  © 2020 AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis

It has been a long time coming. Back in 2010-2013, when Golden Dawn flourished, Greece saw an epidemic of violence. In 2011-2012, we documented dozens of attacks on foreigners, who had been beaten, kicked, and chased down the streets of Athens by gangs of Greeks linked to Golden Dawn. Victims included migrants and asylum seekers, pregnant women, and children. Many attacks went unpunished, with police doing little to intervene and courts to hold perpetrators to account.

In January 2012, Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos sat across a table from us and denied any involvement in violence. Now he and seven other former lawmakers are facing sentences of up to 15 years in jail for leading a violent, criminal organization. Many others await sentencing for membership.

Talking about Golden Dawn, Michaloliakos said to us, “We want Greece to belong to the Greeks … if that makes us racist, then yes we are.

Today’s verdict, along with the massive crowd outside the courtroom, sends the clear message that these hateful ideas, and the violence that Golden Dawn spawned, are not welcome in Greek society anymore.

See also;


Greece: MPs of Golden Dawn far-right party attack minority rights defenders – no police action

January 10, 2017

On 6 January 2017 the International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requested urgent intervention in the following situation in Greece.

OMCT-LOGO Read the rest of this entry »

Documentary exposing Golden Dawn racism awarded in Sarajevo

August 28, 2013

Golden Dawn election candidate Alekos Plomaratis talks openly about turning migrants into soap
(Golden Dawn election candidate Alekos Plomaratis)

The 37-minute film The Cleaners, exposing the racist views and politics of hatred shared by Golden Dawn members, has picked up the special jury prize for documentary films at the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival. The award comes with a €2,500 prize, sponsored by Al Jazeera Balkans. The Cleaners, an extract of which was shown in a news report in March on Britain’s Channel 4, follows Golden Dawn members in Athens during last year’s parliamentary elections. In the film, candidate Alekos Plomaratis says: “We are ready to turn on the ovens“, adding that immigrants will be turned into soap for washing cars. Last month, it was confirmed that Plomaratis will stand trial for his remarks under the 1979 antiracism law. Georgousis, a graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, filmed the documentary over the period of a month. He said: “It is a great honour for me to find myself in a city that has suffered so much from nationalism, and it is a double honour to win the prize considering that the [Thessaloniki Film Festival] did not want to screen it.


Documentary exposing Golden Dawn racism awarded | Article Page | Home.


Knife attack targets migrants in Crete, Greece

August 16, 2013

The knife attack is just the latest in a spate of violent xenophobic and racist attacks in Greece.

The Greek authorities must act immediately to curb the growing spate of xenophobic and racist attacks Amnesty International said on 14 August 2013. It follows a brutal knife attack by a mob of around 20 men on two Pakistani migrants in Heraklion on the island of Crete Read the rest of this entry »

Nils Muiznieks, European Commissioner for human rights, writes to the Economist about the neo-nazi party

July 30, 2013

In the context of the ongoing debate – here in Greece but also elsewhere – on whether ‘hate speech’ and racist parties should be banned, I refer to the following letter to the Editor of the Economist (6 July 2013) by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights:

The far-right in Greece

“SIR – I fully agree that “Greece needs a more robust anti-racism law (“Racist dilemmas”, June 22nd). But I do not agree that banning the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn political party “could be counterproductive” and may be contrary to the right of freedom of association. I recently reported on Golden Dawn following an official visit to Greece. The leadership of this party has historical links with the military junta that ruled Greece in the 1970s and is openly contemptuous of democracy.

Greek democracy is under serious threat. I have urged the Greek authorities actively to prosecute individual members of Golden Dawn and others who have engaged in hate speech or violent racist attacks. Under international human-rights law the Greek authorities would be within their rights to ban Golden Dawn as well. The right to freedom of association is not absolute and may be restricted to protect the rights of others. Greece is bound by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, article four of which calls on states to ban racist organisations.

Moreover, Greece is bound by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, which has found that, under certain conditions, states can impose restrictions on political parties and their members or supporters.

Such restrictions are possible if a political party has been found to use violence to achieve its goals and deny fundamental rights and freedoms, including the principle of non-discrimination.

Nils Muiznieks
Commissioner for human rights, Council of Europe



Amidst legislative disarray over bill to combat racism in Greece, neo-nazi party comes with own bill to ‘protect’ Greeks

June 5, 2013

At a time when other parties in Greece are squabbling over how to toughen anti-racism laws and ban denial of Nazi crimes, the neo-nazi Golden Dawn exploits the disarray by tabling on Tuesday tabled draft legislation seeking harsher laws for offences committed by undocumented migrants in Greece. The draft also seeks to criminalise denial of “genocides of Greeks [on the basis that Turks have massacred ethnic Greeks in what used to be the Ottoman Empire]. An explanatory memorandum to the draft bill says the law would “preserve the national memory”. No fewer than four other draft anti racism bills are now being submitted – separately by New Democracy, Syriza and Independent Greeks, and a joint bill by Pasok and Democratic Left.  In a statement released last Thursday, Human Rights Watch slammed the government for not reaching an agreement on proposed anti racism legislation.“ With people being attacked on the streets, Greece urgently needs to beef up its criminal justice response to hate crimes,” said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This draft law contains some good provisions and should be improved in parliament rather than delayed further.”

via Golden Dawn submits draft bill to combat racism against Greeks | Article Page | Home.


New Commissioner for Human Rights in Europe speaks harshly about HRDs labelled as “traitors”

December 20, 2012

The ‘new’ Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe (who took office on on 24 January 2012) Nils Muižnieks stated in his end of the year message some hard truths about the position of human rights defenders in Europe.

Defamation, threats, verbal and physical attacks, sanctions and judicial harassment are used to deter human rights activists from working with migrants.” Nils Muižnieks states that in several Council of Europe countries, the rise of xenophobic and anti-migrant discourse has “negatively impacted” on the work of human rights defenders who protect and promote the rights of migrants.“Human rights defenders are even increasingly labelled as traitors who are threatening national identity and security,” he adds. “They are often exposed to intimidation and abuse.

The situation in Greece is particularly worrisome as migrants have become targets of unacceptable, extreme violence notably by members, including MPs, of the far right political party of Golden Dawn.“Human rights defenders defending migrants are under threat. There have been several instances of lawyers being threatened and physically attacked in Athens as they were assisting migrants in the course of asylum and other legal procedures.

In some Council of Europe countries the work of defenders working with migrants and their rights is being criminalised. In France, legal provisions corresponding to the so-called délit de solidarité the offence of solidarity concretely result in law enforcement bodies pressuring and punishing human rights defenders providing assistance to irregular migrants. Persons standing up for the rights of migrants have been detained, prosecuted and/or fined.“ “In Belgium, similar tendencies have been identified and persons who have been demonstrating in favour of the rights of migrants have been arrested.”

via Nils Muižnieks: “Human rights defenders are increasingly labelled as traitors” | HUMANERIGHTSEUROPE.