13 December 2005
ECHR conviction of Greece for ill-treatment of Roma and non-investigation of racism
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Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) expresses great satisfaction on today’s European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimous conviction of Greece in the Case of Bekos and Koutropoulos. The application No. 15250/2002 was submitted to the ECHR by GHM and the European Roma Rights Center. According to the ECHR, Greece violated Articles 3 (prohibition of torture) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, did not carry out an effective investigation, and must award each victim 10,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage. The ECHR included as background information strengthening the case international reports on Roma rights violations in Greece. In the GHM release in Greek, there is a statement of its spokesperson Panayote Dimitras and a detailed explanation of the case and the multiple cover-up that had led to domestic impunity.
GHM notes that this is the first conviction of Greece for the violation of the rights of Roma, after such previous convictions for the violation of rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Macedonians, Turks, conscientious objectors and migrants.
This case was the basic example showing the failure of the Greek state of law in these issues, documenting with 80 cases in the joint Amnesty International and International Helsinki Federation report (2002) updated by GHM (2003). References to the web pages with the related material, two pictures from 1998 of the Roma victims, and today’s ECHR texts follow.
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Press release on the Bekos-Koutropoulos case:
Judgment in the Bekos-Koutropoulos case:
BEKOS – KOUTROPOULOS AND 79 OTHER SIMILAR CASES:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – INTERNATIONAL HELSINKI FEDERATION REPORT (2002) UPDATED BY GHM (2003)
A case history - failure of the system:
Lazaros Bekos and Eleftherios Koutropoulos, Mesolonghi, 8/5/1998
[photos of Lazaros Bekos and Eleftherios Koutropoulos
80 cases of ill-treatment, injury or death reported by AI-IHF and updated by GHM (with government answers where available):12 ethnic Greeks, 15 ethnic Roma, 16 Albanians, and 37 other foreigners