European Free Alliance
in the European Parliament
Bernat Joan i Mari MEP
(Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya)
Press Release - Brussels, 20.1.05
JOAN PROTESTS AT GREEK HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
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Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya Euro-MP Bernat Joan is to protest
to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg about ongoing human
rights abuses in Greece.
The Catalan Euro-MP and Vice President of the European Free Alliance
is concerned about ongoing state backed intolerance and discrimination
particularly against the country's Macedonian and Turkish minorities.
This follows the recent Greek Supreme Court ruling dissolving the Turkish
Union of Xanthi.
This follows previous refusals to register Turkish and Macedonian associations
or to force their dissolution in spite of earlier rulings against the
Greek authorities by the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights.
Bernat Joan MEP commented:
"I was very concerned to hear this news of ongoing intolerance
by Greek authorities. It seems to me a flagrant abuse of
basic human rights, not to mention treaty commitments. Greece has
fallen foul of
the European Court of Human Rights in the past yet this
seems to have had little impact on the attitude of the Greek authorities.
They must recognise the right to peaceful and free association without
interference or oppression. It is ironic that at a time when
the EU is asking countries who want to join to implement
the so-called 'Copenhagen
criteria' which includes the protection of minorities, some
existing EU members behave in such a way.
That's why I'm writing to the European Court of Human Rights to draw
their attention to these ongoing human rights abuses by
In the Sidiropoulos and others v. Greece judgement of 10 July 1998,
the European Court of Human Rights found that the refusal to register
the association "Home of Macedonian Culture" in Florina constituted
an interference with the freedom of association as guaranteed by Article
11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Five years after the
decision of the European Court of Human Rights, this association has
still not been registered despite the repeated applications made by
its members (see recent decision 243/19/12/03 of the Florina Single-Member
Court of First Instance one more time negative; the applicants have
applied again to the Appeal Court in Kozani).
EFA Press Officer / Attache de presse ALE
Green / EFA Group in the European Parliament
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The European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament includes
MEPs from Scotland, Wales, Catalonia and Latvia, who advance
the cause of Europe's stateless nations, regions and disadvantaged