Commissioner concerned about ill-treatment by law enforcement officials in Greece

“I am very concerned by the fact that I continue to receive alarming information concerning instances of alleged ill-treatment, including torture, by Greek police officers. Recently my attention was drawn to four well-documented cases of migrants, including minors, who claimed, inter alia, that they had been victims of severe beatings by police officers in Samos and Chios, in November 2016 and in January and February 2017. As a consequence, some of the victims suffered serious injuries such as loss of hearing, knee dislocation and foot breaking. Arbitrary deprivations of liberty in substandard conditions in the police stations of the above islands, as well as denial of access to a lawyer and to medical care were also reported. I that these cases led to the lodging of complaints with the Greek Ombudsman.” This is based on the extremely well documented work of Advocates Abroad that ΕΠΣΕ ghm used in their work and reports.

“In addition, I received information about the alleged severe beating, amounting to torture, of three Greek nationals of Roma origin who claimed that in October 2016 they were subjected to the above treatment by officers of the Western Attica Police Division, in the course of an interrogation. Reportedly one of the victims was transferred to hospital having suffered a heart attack and serious injuries on his genitals. I understand that a complaint has been lodged with the Athens Special Prosecutor on Racist Violence.” This is the case https://racistcrimeswatch.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/2-50/

“Due to the requirement for a planned, systematic character of severe ill-treatment, to date Greek courts have only once, in 2014, convicted a police officer for torturing two Greek national detainees by electric shocks during interrogation… Another major issue of substantive criminal law that Ι would like to raise with you is the following: Ι have noted that in recent years Greece, in its efforts to decongest prisons, has amended Article 82 of the Criminal Code and allowed courts to convert custodial sentences (even of five years’ imprisonment that may caver felonies such as torture) into pecuniary penalties and community service. It is noteworthy that under the Strasbourg Court’s case law and the 2011 Guidelines of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on eradicating impunity for serious human rights violations, when serious human rights violations have been proven, the imposition of a suitable penalty should follow. The sentences which are handed out should be effective, proportionate and appropriate to the offence committed. As a consequence, Ι would call on you to review existing legislation in order to ensure that adequate, dissuasive penalties are always imposed by courts and fully executed in all cases of ill-treatment by law enforcement agents.”
This is the case http://www.lifo.gr/team/apopseis/46208

This case is now before the ECtHR http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-162947
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