Stop Human Rights Abuse of Immigrants in Greece

We the undersigned urge the leaders of the EU to respond to the recent demonstration of appalling discrimination and human rights violation by Greek authorities towards Albanian immigrants. The recent video of two immigrants slapping each other at the orders of a Greek police officer is an unacceptable example of institutional violence against the rights and dignity of human beings in Greece. We call on European institutions to act and stop this abuse!

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

Dear EU officials,
Last week, Greek media broadcast a video of two teenagers in an Athens police station being physically and verbally abused by Greek police officers. The teenagers (both immigrants, one of them Albanian) were forced to slap each other violently under the urges and orders of the officer. This abominable video is but a recent and graphic example of the systematic discrimination Albanian citizens and other immigrants suffer in Greece, a member nation of the EU.

Many other Albanian immigrants, including Gentian Çeleniku (age 20), Bledar Qoshku (age 23), Ramiz Saliaj (age 21), Vullnet Bytyçi (age 18) and Luan Bërdëllima (age 20) have been killed and/or tortured by Greek authorities in the last few years. We think it is time that European institutions raised concerns against these degrading and inhuman acts performed by Greek authorities upon defenseless individuals.

We believe these practices to be unacceptable for a member state of the EU, that as such, has pledged to abide by the European Convention of Human Rights. The Preamble of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe clearly declares %u201Cthe universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law%u201D as core values of the Union. Yet, these values are continuously violated in Greece.

Due to the appalling inhumanity of these practices and as a result of the wide concern these images have provoked in our community, we ask of you to consider the following:

  1. Publicly denounce the aforementioned video and file an official complaint with the Greek government, thus condemning the discrimination and abuse of Albanians and other immigrants by Greek institutions
  2. Engage the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to lead an inquiry into the mistreatment of Albanian immigrants in Greece over the past two decades
  3. Work with the Greek government in order to ensure that their public policy agenda include a genuine effort to curb and eventually eliminate institutionalized violence against foreigners in Greece

Thank you for your attention.


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