Slavery and Human Trafficking: Impact of the European Convention on Human Rights

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Note

It is noteworthy that the Council of Europe has selected four cases, two against Greece, one against Cyprus and Russia, and one against France, out of the 47 member states. Greek Helsinki Monitor litigated the L.E. v. Greece case and is making submissions to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the execution of both Greek cases.

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Greece: Acts of intimidation against Panayote Dimitras as well as the reprisals against two Greek Roma families he represents in front of the UN Human Rights Committee

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Greek translation available here

Greece: Acts of intimidation against Panayote Dimitras as well as the reprisals against two Greek Roma families he represents in front of the UN Human Rights Committee

URGENT APPEAL

GREECE – CASE GRE 290720

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

Acts of intimidation / Reprisals

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Greece.

Brief Description of the Situation:

The International Secretariat of the OMCT has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) about the acts of intimidation against Mr. Panayote Dimitras, GHM Spokesperson and a member of OMCT’s General Assembly, as well as the reprisals against two Greek Roma families he was representing, for providing information on individual cases of human rights violations to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UN-HRCttee).

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According to the information received, on July 5, 2020, two Greek Roma families, including Mr. Christos Theodoropoulos, Ms. Vasiliki Karahaliou and one of their sons, and Mr. Evangelos Theodoropoulos, Ms. Georgia Souta and two of their sons, living in a Roma settlement in the Nea Zoe neighbourhood of the Municipality of Aspropyrgos and legally represented by Mr. Panayote Dimitras, sent a request for urgent interim measures to the UN-HRCttee in order to temporarily stop the pending forced eviction through demolition of the lodgings of both families, which was attempted without success on July 3, 2020 and subsequently announced for July 7, 2020. Both families live in poor housing conditions lacking adequate standards of living and are waiting for resettlement in adequate housing.

On July 6, 2020, the UN-HRCttee granted the injunction requested by the two families and called on the Greek authorities to refrain from forcibly evicting the members of both families while the communication was under consideration by the UN-HRCttee unless they were offered an alternative accommodation.

No further attempts to forcibly evict the families have taken place. Nonetheless, on July 8, 2020, Hellenic Police officers raided without a warrant the homes of the two Greek Roma families represented by Mr. Panayote Dimitras and of four of their relatives and arrested them for “stealing electricity”. The OMCT expresses its concern for this intervention which seems to be a form of reprisal against the two families because of their engagement with the United Nations mechanisms.

On the same day at around 10:30 am, while the arrested individuals were at the police station, Mr. Panayote Dimitras received a call from an unknown person calling from the settlement who repeatedly refused to identify himself. This person accused Mr. Panayote Dimitras of being responsible of the arrests described above and of harming the Greek Roma community of the Nea Zoe settlement with the legal actions taken by the GHM, in what appeared as an attempt to intimidate Mr. Panayote Dimitras and deter other Nea Zoe dwellers from taking further legal actions in defence of their right to adequate housing.

In the afternoon of July 8, 2020, the arrested individuals were released without charges.

On July 24, 2020, following an additional communication sent by Mr. Panayote Dimitras to inform about the above-mentioned raids and acts of reprisal, the UN-HRCttee extended the interim measures to eleven Greek Roma individuals at risk of eviction[1] and reiterated its request to Greece to provide information about the situation of the Greek Roma families from the Nea Zoe settlement. As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, no observations had been sent by Greece to the UN-HRCttee.

The OMCT expresses serious concerns over the acts of intimidation carried out by an unidentified person against Mr. Panayote Dimitras as well as over what seems to be reprisals by the Greek authorities against the two families for submitting a complaint to the UN-HRCttee regarding an alleged violation of the two Greek Roma families’ right to adequate housing.

The OMCT recalls that Greece is under a positive obligation to protect from reprisals individuals and groups collaborating with UN Treaty Bodies and urges the Greek authorities to carry out a prompt, transparent, impartial, effective and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned acts in order to identify those responsible and bring the perpetrator(s) to justice before an independent and impartial tribunal that will judge them according to domestic and international standards for a fair trial.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Greece to urge them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstance the psychological well-being and physical integrity of Mr. Panayote Dimitras;

ii. Carry out an prompt, impartial, transparent, effective and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned events in order to identify those responsible and bring the perpetrator(s) to justice before and independent and impartial tribunal, that will judge them according to domestic and international standards for a fair trial;

iii. Put an end to all act of intimidation and reprisals against Mr. Panayote Dimitras as well as the reprisals against the two Theodoropoulos families;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances that human rights defenders and alleged victims of human rights violations are able to cooperate with UN Treaty Bodies without hindrance and fear of reprisals;

v. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1, 2, 5 (c) and 12.2.

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Greek Constitution and international human rights instruments ratified by Greece.

Addresses:

·         Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, Email: mail@primeminister.gr

·         Mr. Konstantinos Tsiaras, Minister of Justice, Email: grammateia@justice.gov.gr

·    Mr. Panos Alexandis, General Secretary for Justice and Human Rights, Email: ggdad@justice.gov.gr

·  Mr. Nikolaos Meletiou, Mayor of Aspropyrgos, Email: grafeiodimarxou@aspropyrgos.gr

·         Permanent Representative of Greece, Ms Anna Korka, Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 732 21 50; Email: grdel.gva@mfa.gr

·   Permanent Representative of Greece, H.E. Andreas Papastavrou, Permanent Representation to the European Union (EU), Fax: +32 2 5515651, 5127912
Email: mea.bruxelles@rp-greece.be

***

Geneva-Brussels, 29 July 2020

The OMCT works with around 200 member organisations which constitute its SOS-Torture Network, to end torture, fight impunity and protect human rights defenders worldwide. Together, we make up the largest global group actively standing up to torture. Helping local voices be heard, we support our vital partners in the field and provide direct assistance to victims. OMCT’s international secretariat is based in Geneva, with offices in Brussels and Tunis.

 


[1]              The beneficiaries of the interim measures include two families whose houses were raided, namely Mr. Andreas Theodoropoulos, Ms. Despoina Karahaliou, Ms. Panayitsa Karahaliou and Mr. Charalambos Theodoropoulos, Ms. Maria-Georgie Dionyssopoulou and Ms. Assimoula Dionyssopoulou, as well as Ms. Nicoletta Dionyssopoulou, Mr. Pavlos Panayotopoulos, Ms. Evangelia Theodoropoulou, Ms. Anthi Theodoropoulou and Mr. Andres Theodoropoulos.

OMCT: Ελλάδα – Πράξεις εκφοβισμού κατά Παναγιώτη Δημητρά και αντίποινα κατά δύο οικογενειών Ελλήνων Ρομά που εκπροσωπεί ενώπιον Επιτροπής Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων ΟΗΕ

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Μεταφράστηκε από το αγγλικό πρωτότυπο εδώ

Ελλάδα: Πράξεις εκφοβισμού κατά Παναγιώτη Δημητρά και αντίποινα κατά δύο οικογενειών Ελλήνων Ρομά που εκπροσωπεί ενώπιον Επιτροπής Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων ΟΗΕ

ΕΠΕΙΓΟΥΣΑ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΗ
ΕΛΛΑΔΑ – ΥΠΟΘΕΣΗ 290720

ΥΠΕΡΑΣΠΙΣΤΕΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΝΩΝ ΔΙΚΑΙΩΜΑΤΩΝ

Πράξεις εκφοβισμού / αντίποινα

Η Διεθνής Γραμματεία της Παγκόσμιας Οργάνωσης κατά των Βασανιστηρίων (OMCT) ζητά την επείγουσα παρέμβασή σας στην ακόλουθη κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα.

Σύντομη περιγραφή της κατάστασης:

Η Διεθνής Γραμματεία του OMCT έχει ενημερωθεί από το Ελληνικό Παρατηρητήριο των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι (ΕΠΣΕ) για τις πράξεις εκφοβισμού εναντίον του Παναγώτη Δημητρά, εκπροσώπου του ΕΠΣΕ και μέλους της Γενικής Συνέλευσης του OMCT, καθώς και για τα αντίποινα εναντίον δύο οικογενειών Ελλήνων Ρομά, τις οποίες εκπροσωπεί, επειδή παρείχαν πληροφορίες για συγκεκριμένες περιπτώσεις παραβιάσεων των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στην Επιτροπή Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων των Ηνωμένων Εθνών (ΕΑΔ του ΟΗΕ).

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Σύμφωνα με τις πληροφορίες που ελήφθησαν, στις 5 Ιουλίου 2020, δύο οικογένειες Ελλήνων Ρομά, μεταξύ των οποίων ο Χρήστος Θεοδωρόπουλος, η Βασιλική Καραχάλιου και ένας από τους γιους τους, όπως και ο Ευάγγελος Θεοδωρόπουλος, η Γεωργία Σούτα και δύο από τους γιους τους, οι οποίοι ζουν σε έναν οικισμό Ρομά στη γειτονιά της Νέας Ζωής του Δήμου Ασπρόπυργου και εκπροσωπούνται νόμιμα από τον Παναγιώτη Δημητρά, έκαναν προσφυγή για επείγοντα ασφαλιστικά μέτρα στην ΕΑΔ του ΟΗΕ προκειμένου να σταματήσει προσωρινά η εκκρεμούσα αναγκαστική έξωση, μέσω κατεδάφισης, των καταλυμάτων και των δύο οικογενειών, η οποία επιχειρήθηκε ανεπιτυχώς στις 3 Ιουλίου 2020 και στη συνέχεια προγραμματίστηκε για τις 7 Ιουλίου 2020. Και οι δύο οικογένειες ζουν σε κακές συνθήκες στέγασης που δεν προσφέρουν επαρκές επίπεδο διαβίωσης και περιμένουν επανεγκατάσταση με επαρκές επίπεδο στέγασης.

Στις 6 Ιουλίου 2020, η ΕΑΔ του ΟΗΕ δέχθηκε το αίτημα ασφαλιστικών μέτρων που ζήτησαν οι δύο οικογένειες και κάλεσε τις ελληνικές αρχές να αποφύγουν την καταναγκαστική έξωση των μελών των δύο οικογενειών, για όσο η προσφυγή τους θα ήταν υπό εξέταση από την ΕΑΔ του ΟΗΕ, εκτός και εάν θα τους προσφερόταν εναλλακτική στέγη.

Δεν έχουν πραγματοποιηθεί νέες απόπειρες καταναγκαστικής έξωσης των οικογενειών. Ωστόσο, στις 8 Ιουλίου 2020, αστυνομικοί της ΕΛ.ΑΣ. πραγματοποίησαν επιδρομές χωρίς ένταλμα στα σπίτια των δύο οικογενειών Ελλήνων Ρομά, οι οποίες εκπροσωπούνταν από τον Παναγιώτη Δημητρά, και τεσσάρων οικογενειών συγγενών τους και συνέλαβαν πέντε άνδρες για «ρευματοκλοπή». Η Παγκόσμια Οργάνωση κατά των Βασανιστηρίων εκφράζει την ανησυχία της για αυτήν την παρέμβαση που φαίνεται να αποτελεί μορφή αντιποίνων εναντίον των δύο οικογενειών λόγω της προσφυγής τους στους μηχανισμούς των Ηνωμένων Εθνών.

Την ίδια ημέρα περίπου στις 10:30 π.μ., και ενώ οι συλληφθέντες βρίσκονταν στο αστυνομικό τμήμα, ο Παναγιώτης Δημητράς έλαβε ένα τηλεφώνημα από ένα άγνωστο άτομο που καλούσε από τον οικισμό, ο οποίος αρνήθηκε επανειλημμένα να συστηθεί. Αυτό το άτομο κατηγόρησε τον Παναγιώτη Δημητρά ότι ήταν υπεύθυνος για τις συλλήψεις που περιγράφηκαν παραπάνω και ότι έβλαψε την κοινότητα Ελλήνων Ρομά του οικισμού της Νέας Ζωής με τις νομικές ενέργειες που ανέλαβε το ΕΠΣΕ, σε μια απόπειρα που φάνηκε ως εκφοβιστική του Παναγιώτη Δημήτρα και αποτρεπτική άλλων κατοίκων της Νέας Ζωής ως προς τη λήψη περαιτέρω νομικών μέτρων για την υπεράσπιση του δικαιώματός τους στην επαρκή στέγαση.

Το απόγευμα της 8 Ιουλίου 2020, τα άτομα που συνελήφθησαν απελευθερώθηκαν χωρίς να τους απαγγελθούν κατηγορίες.

Στις 24 Ιουλίου 2020, μετά από πρόσθετη προσφυγή που έστειλε ο Παναγιώτης Δημητράς  με ενημέρωση για τις προαναφερθείσες επιδρομές και πράξεις αντιποίνων, η ΕΑΔ του ΟΗΕ συμπεριέλαβε στα προσωρινά ασφαλιστικά μέτρα προστασίας έντεκα Έλληνες Ρομά που κινδυνεύουν επίσης από έξωση [1] και ζήτησε ξανά από την Ελλάδα ενημέρωση για τις συνθήκες διαβίωσης των οικογενειών Ελλήνων Ρομά του οικισμού «Νέα Ζωή». Παρά τον επείγοντα χαρακτήρα του αιτήματος, η Ελλάδα δεν έχει ακόμα στείλει παρατηρήσεις επί του θέματος.

Η Παγκόσμια Οργάνωση κατά των Βασανιστηρίων εκφράζει σοβαρές ανησυχίες για τις απόπειρες εκφοβισμού του Παναγιώτη Δημητρά από μη-ταυτοποιημένο άτομο. Επίσης, εκφράζει την ανησυχία για τα διαφαινόμενα ως αντίποινα των ελληνικών αρχών εναντίον των καταγγελλουσών οικογενειών. Οι δυο οικογένειες Ελλήνων Ρομά έχουν υποβάλλει καταγγελία στην Επιτροπή Δικαιωμάτων του Ο.Η.Ε. για φερόμενη παραβίαση του δικαιώματός στην αξιοπρεπή στέγαση.

Η Παγκόσμια Οργάνωση κατά των Βασανιστηρίων υπενθυμίζει ότι η Ελλάδα έχει σαφή υποχρέωση να προστατεύει από αντίποινα άτομα και ομάδες που συνεργάζονται με τις Επιτροπές των Συνθηκών των Ηνωμένων Εθνών. Προτρέπει, επίσης, τις ελληνικές αρχές να προβούν σε μια άμεση, διαφανή, αμερόληπτη, αποτελεσματική και ενδελεχή διερεύνηση των προαναφερθεισών πράξεων ώστε να ταυτοποιήσει τους υπεύθυνους και να φέρει τον/τους δράστη/ες ενώπιον ανεξάρτητου και αμερόληπτου δικαστηρίου που θα τους δικάσει σύμφωνα με τα εθνικά και διεθνή πρότυπα για δίκαιη δίκη.

Ζητούμενες ενέργειες:

Παρακαλούμε γράψτε στις αρχές της Ελλάδας για να ζητήσετε:

1. Εγγύηση και προστασία της ψυχολογικής και σωματικής ακεραιότητας του Παναγιώτη Δημητρά.

2. Διεξαγωγή άμεσης, αμερόληπτης, διαφανούς, αποτελεσματικής και εμπεριστατωμένης έρευνας για τα προαναφερθέντα γεγονότα, προκειμένου να εντοπιστούν οι υπεύθυνοι και να προσαχθούν οι δράστες στη δικαιοσύνη ενώπιον ανεξάρτητου και αμερόληπτου δικαστηρίου, το οποίο θα τους κρίνει σύμφωνα με τα εγχώρια και διεθνή πρότυπα για μια δίκαιη δίκη ·

3. Παύση κάθε πράξης εκφοβισμού και αντιποίνων εναντίον του Παναγιώτη Δημητρά και εναντίον των δύο οικογενειών Θεοδωρόπουλου.

4. Διασφάλιση, σε όλες τις περιπτώσεις, ότι οι υπερασπιστές των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και τα φερόμενα θύματα παραβιάσεων των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων μπορούν να συνεργαστούν με τα όργανα της Συνθήκης του ΟΗΕ χωρίς εμπόδια και φόβο για αντίποινα ·

5. Συμμόρφωση σε κάθε περίπτωση με τις διατάξεις της Διακήρυξης για τους Υπερασπιστές των Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων, που εγκρίθηκε στις 9 Δεκεμβρίου 1998 από τη Γενική Συνέλευση των Ηνωμένων Εθνών, ιδίως τα άρθρα 1, 2, 5 (γ) και 12.2.

6. Διασφάλιση σε όλες τις περιπτώσεις του σεβασμού των Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων και των θεμελιωδών ελευθεριών σύμφωνα με το Ελληνικό Σύνταγμα και τις Διεθνείς Συνθήκες για τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα που έχουν κυρωθεί από την Ελλάδα.

Διευθύνσεις:

· κ. Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης, Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας, Email: mail@primeminister.gr

· κ. Κωνσταντίνος Τσιάρας, Υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης. Email: grammateia@justice.gov.gr

· κ. Πάνος Αλεξανδρής, Γενικός Γραμματέας Δικαιοσύνης και Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων, Email: ggdad@justice.gov.gr

· κ. Νικόλαος Μελετίου, Δήμαρχος Ασπροπύργου, Email: grafeiodimarxou@aspropyrgos.gr

· Μόνιμη Αντιπρόσωπος της Ελλάδας, κ. Αννα Κόρκα, Μόνιμη Αντιπροσωπεία των της Ελλάδας στα Ηνωμένα Έθνη, Ελβετία, Fax: +41 22 732 21 50; Email: grdel.gva@mfa.gr

· Μόνιμος αντιπρόσωπος της Ελλάδας. Ανδρέας Παπασταύρου, Μόνιμη Αντιπροσωπεία της Ελλάδας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, Fax: +32 2 5515651, 5127912 Email: mea.bruxelles@rp-greece.be

 

[1] Στους δικαιούχους των προσωρινών μέτρων περιλαμβάνονται δύο οικογένειες των οποίων τα σπίτια δέχτηκαν επιδρομές, δηλαδή ο Ανδρέας Θεοδωρόπουλος, η Δέσποινα Καραχάλιου, η Παναγίτσα Καραχάλιου και ο Χαράλαμπος Θεοδωρόπουλος, η Μαρία-Γεωργία Διονυσοπούλου, η Ασημούλα Διονυσοπούλου, καθώς και άλλη μια οικογένεια, η Νικολέττα Διονυσοπούλου, o Παύλος Παναγιωτοπούλος, η Ευαγγελία Θεοδωροπούλου, η Ανθή Θεοδωροπούλου και ο Ανδρέας Θεοδωρόπουλος.

Feantsa: Fifth overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe, 2020 / 5η Επισκόπηση Στεγαστικού Αποκλεισμού στην Ευρώπη για το 2020

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feantsa

Fifth overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe

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Full Report: English / French

According to estimates by the Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA, some 700,000 people face homelessness every night in the European Union, representing a 70% increase in ten years. However, during the recent health crisis, this number fell sharply thanks to the emergency measures to provide shelter for the most vulnerable among us taken by all European countries. We have now seen that it is possible to end homelessness if we really want to when we have the means to do so! In this Fifth Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe, the Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA have once again joined forces and shown that by mobilising  less than 3% of the subsidies provided for in the Post-COVID Recovery Plan budget, the European Union and Member States are capable of immediately rehousing all homeless people across Europe in dignified conditions for an entire year. In addition to fighting tirelessly against homelessness, both organisations have identified the key elements of a dignified and sustainable housing policy for all those facing housing exclusion or forced into homelessness due to housing costs and/or squalid living conditions, with housing inequality between poor and non-poor households having increased over the last ten years.
Every year, our report focuses on a particular theme: this year, the Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA focused their attention on people in exile, who are over-represented among the homeless and whose fundamental rights, in particular access to dignified reception and accommodation conditions, are called into question at every stage of the asylum process.

Greece: Organisations, local and international health bodies warn: “Discrimination does not protect against COVID-19″

17 July 2020

Greece: Organisations, local and international
health bodies warn: “Discrimination does not protect against COVID-19″

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Following a letter sent to Greek authorities in early July, organizations working with refugees and migrants in Greece express their concern and opposition to the government’s decision to once again impose traffic restrictions on all accommodation facilities for asylum seekers in Greece. , in the general context of preventing the occurrence and spread of cases of coronavirus COVID-19.

Although restrictions on freedom of movement for the protection of public health may be necessary and justified, organizations argue that they should nevertheless be based on scientific evidence, and not be imposed on arbitrary criteria that refer to social discrimination, as the traffic restriction has been lifted for the rest of the country. In any case, public health reasons cannot be invoked to restrict the freedom of movement of the residents of these accommodation structures, as this would not be based on any scientific basis. In fact, in some cases the measures violate the EU Directive on the requirements for the reception of applicants (2013/33, Article 8 on detention).

In particular, as highlighted in statements or guidelines from international organizations, academia and civil society organizations – some of which are listed at the end of this announcement – there is no indication that the isolation of entire hosting structures or the application of traffic restrictions effectively affect the transmission of the virus to the accommodation structures of asylum seekers and migrants, or provide additional protective effects for the general population, in addition to those achieved through conventional restraint and protection measures that apply universally to the entire population.

Therefore, a rational strategy to prevent and protect the refugee population from the spread of Covid-19 must focus on improving the precarious housing conditions of those who make social distancing impossible in overcrowded accommodation. To date, however, there have been insufficient moves in this direction. In fact, many organizations working in centers where measures of restriction of freedom of movement have been implemented, have identified increased psychological pressure and stress that can lead to a general deterioration in the health of asylum seekers. In addition, traffic restrictions impede asylum seekers’ access to vital services (medical, legal, etc.) located outside the structures where they reside.

According to the signatories of this communiqué, the government should strictly evaluate any public health protection policies it adopts in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and respect for the principle of non-discrimination and refrain from perpetuating interim measures through abusive appeals. needs. Also, measures should be implemented that really ensure the health of the refugee population and consequently of the total population of the country, namely:

  • Decongestion of all overcrowded structures
  • Proper and flexible use of EU funds available to improve living conditions with maximum transparency
  • Inclusion in primary health care of all migrant groups, including unregistered asylum seekers and those in “fat”.
  • Provision of water supply, disinfection, hygiene (WASH) services
  • Distribution of personal hygiene items
  • Providing comprehensive and comprehensible information to refugee communities.
  • Extensive information of the citizens on public health issues, in fact in relation to the hospitality of the migrant population.

It should be more widely understood that there can be no public health without protecting the health of refugees and migrants. The demonization of the refugee population that has been observed lately – especially at a time when efforts should be made for their smooth integration into the social and labor fabric of the country – does not defend the real interests of the citizens and irreparably harms the democratic principles of the country.

In support of the above, the following have been pointed out:

World Health Organisation:

“The right to preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 for refugees and migrants must be exercised through integrated laws and national policies and practices without discrimination, with particular concern for children and gender issues. “The health conditions experienced by refugees and migrants, including those with COVID-19, should not be used as an excuse to impose arbitrary restrictions, stigmatization, detention, deportation and other forms of discrimination.” (Excerpt from Provisional Directive, 17 April 2020)

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control:

“While there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is higher among migrants and refugees, environmental factors such as overcrowding in reception and detention centers increase their exposure to the disease. “Cases can also spread rapidly to reception and detention centers in the absence of appropriate preventive measures.”

Elsewhere: “There is no evidence that the isolation of entire camps effectively restricts the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to reception and detention centers, or provides additional safeguards for the general population, other than that which could be achieved by conventional restraint and protective measures. (Excerpts from Technical Report, June 15, 2020)

Doctors Without Borders

“The extension of the measure to restrict the movement of asylum seekers living in reception centers will further reduce their already limited access to basic services and medical care and, in the current phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, is in no way justified in terms of public health. So far, there is no confirmed incident in any of the reception centers of the islands, which means that this population is not a danger. On the contrary, it is in danger. Such discrimination stigmatizes and marginalizes refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, is not justified in terms of public health and increases the vulnerability of this population to the epidemic. Public health measures should protect people, especially those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and patients with chronic diseases. They should not be trapped in overcrowded camps with limited access to water and toilets, where it is obviously impossible to implement prevention and protection measures for COVID-19. “Doctors Without Borders continues to demand the transfer of people belonging to vulnerable groups (the elderly, people with chronic diseases) from reception centers to safe accommodation, where they can apply public health protection measures.”

Doctors of the World:

“Despite the widespread perception that there is a link between migrating populations and the introduction and / or spread of communicable diseases, there is no systematic correlation between the two. In “closed populations”, such as KYTs and host structures, the virus can be transmitted rapidly relative to the rest of the population. This is due to the cohesiveness and the poor hygienic conditions and highlights even more clearly the need for decongestion and the transfer of these people to alternative forms of accommodation. ”

Elias Kondylis, Associate Professor of PHC – Health Policy and Alexis Benos, Professor of Health, Social Medicine and PHC – Laboratory of Primary Health Care, General Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, AUTh .:

“The ban on traffic in reception centers and accommodation structures for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers for a total of 125 days in the midst of a pandemic (the corresponding ban in the general population lasted 43 days) and its continuous extension without any scientific evidence, is not appropriate for control of the Covid-19 epidemic. On the contrary, it is an act which inevitably increases the stigma, marginalization and isolation of the already quite burdened and vulnerable refugee populations in our country, while further increasing the risks of mass spread of covid-19 disease in these enclosed populations. The basic means, at the individual level, for the prevention of covid-19 disease remain the observance of the rules of hygiene and the observance of the distances by avoiding the synchronicity. These basic rules of individual prevention are by nature impossible to comply with in the KYT, due to the living conditions in them. The removal of unjustified traffic restrictions in CIS, their decongestion and the immediate relocation of the most vulnerable refugees / migrants to safe structures in the community are the only scientifically appropriate covid-19 disease prevention policies for the protection of both refugees and migrants. the protection of the general population “.

Demelza Haurat and Noor Rijnberg, doctors

“Let’s try to imagine what the mental state of someone who lives confined, along with 17,000 other people, can be in temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius in camps like Moria, where tensions are already high. Restricting freedom of movement worsens the psychological “We live every day in our clinic where we record an increase in cases of panic disorder and sexual and domestic violence.”

llowing a letter sent to Greek authorities in early July, organizations working with refugees and migrants in Greece express their concern and opposition to the government’s decision to once again impose traffic restrictions on all accommodation facilities for asylum seekers in Greece. , in the general context of preventing the occurrence and spread of cases of coronavirus COVID-19.

Although restrictions on freedom of movement for the protection of public health may be necessary and justified, organizations argue that they should nevertheless be based on scientific evidence, and not be imposed on arbitrary criteria that refer to social discrimination, as the traffic restriction has been lifted for the rest of the country. In any case, public health reasons cannot be invoked to restrict the freedom of movement of the residents of these accommodation structures, as this would not be based on any scientific basis. In fact, in some cases the measures violate the EU Directive on the requirements for the reception of applicants (2013/33, Article 8 on detention).

In particular, as highlighted in statements or guidelines from international organizations, academia and civil society organizations – some of which are listed at the end of this announcement – there is no indication that the isolation of entire hosting structures or the application of traffic restrictions effectively affect the transmission of the virus to the accommodation structures of asylum seekers and migrants, or provide additional protective effects for the general population, in addition to those achieved through conventional restraint and protection measures that apply universally to the entire population.

Therefore, a rational strategy to prevent and protect the refugee population from the spread of Covid-19 must focus on improving the precarious housing conditions of those who make social distancing impossible in overcrowded accommodation. To date, however, there have been insufficient moves in this direction. In fact, many organizations working in centers where measures of restriction of freedom of movement have been implemented, have identified increased psychological pressure and stress that can lead to a general deterioration in the health of asylum seekers. In addition, traffic restrictions impede asylum seekers’ access to vital services (medical, legal, etc.) located outside the structures where they reside.

According to the signatories of this communiqué, the government should strictly evaluate any public health protection policies it adopts in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and respect for the principle of non-discrimination and refrain from perpetuating interim measures through abusive appeals. needs. Also, measures should be implemented that really ensure the health of the refugee population and consequently of the total population of the country, namely:

  • Decongestion of all overcrowded structures
  • Proper and flexible use of EU funds available to improve living conditions with maximum transparency
  • Inclusion in primary health care of all migrant groups, including unregistered asylum seekers and those in “fat”.
  • Provision of water supply, disinfection, hygiene (WASH) services
  • Distribution of personal hygiene items
  • Providing comprehensive and comprehensible information to refugee communities.
  • Extensive information of the citizens on public health issues, in fact in relation to the hospitality of the migrant population.

It should be more widely understood that there can be no public health without protecting the health of refugees and migrants. The demonization of the refugee population that has been observed lately – especially at a time when efforts should be made for their smooth integration into the social and labor fabric of the country – does not defend the real interests of the citizens and irreparably harms the democratic principles of the country.

In support of the above, the following have been pointed out:

World Health Organisation:

“The right to preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 for refugees and migrants must be exercised through integrated laws and national policies and practices without discrimination, with particular concern for children and gender issues. “The health conditions experienced by refugees and migrants, including those with COVID-19, should not be used as an excuse to impose arbitrary restrictions, stigmatization, detention, deportation and other forms of discrimination.” (Excerpt from Provisional Directive, 17 April 2020)

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control:

“While there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is higher among migrants and refugees, environmental factors such as overcrowding in reception and detention centers increase their exposure to the disease. “Cases can also spread rapidly to reception and detention centers in the absence of appropriate preventive measures.”

Elsewhere: “There is no evidence that the isolation of entire camps effectively restricts the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to reception and detention centers, or provides additional safeguards for the general population, other than that which could be achieved by conventional restraint and protective measures. (Excerpts from Technical Report, June 15, 2020)

Doctors Without Borders

“The extension of the measure to restrict the movement of asylum seekers living in reception centers will further reduce their already limited access to basic services and medical care and, in the current phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, is in no way justified in terms of public health. So far, there is no confirmed incident in any of the reception centers of the islands, which means that this population is not a danger. On the contrary, it is in danger. Such discrimination stigmatizes and marginalizes refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, is not justified in terms of public health and increases the vulnerability of this population to the epidemic. Public health measures should protect people, especially those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and patients with chronic diseases. They should not be trapped in overcrowded camps with limited access to water and toilets, where it is obviously impossible to implement prevention and protection measures for COVID-19. “Doctors Without Borders continues to demand the transfer of people belonging to vulnerable groups (the elderly, people with chronic diseases) from reception centers to safe accommodation, where they can apply public health protection measures.”

Doctors of the World:

“Despite the widespread perception that there is a link between migrating populations and the introduction and / or spread of communicable diseases, there is no systematic correlation between the two. In “closed populations”, such as KYTs and host structures, the virus can be transmitted rapidly relative to the rest of the population. This is due to the cohesiveness and the poor hygienic conditions and highlights even more clearly the need for decongestion and the transfer of these people to alternative forms of accommodation. ”

Elias Kondylis, Associate Professor of PHC – Health Policy and Alexis Benos, Professor of Health, Social Medicine and PHC – Laboratory of Primary Health Care, General Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, AUTh .:

“The ban on traffic in reception centers and accommodation structures for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers for a total of 125 days in the midst of a pandemic (the corresponding ban in the general population lasted 43 days) and its continuous extension without any scientific evidence, is not appropriate for control of the Covid-19 epidemic. On the contrary, it is an act which inevitably increases the stigma, marginalization and isolation of the already quite burdened and vulnerable refugee populations in our country, while further increasing the risks of mass spread of covid-19 disease in these enclosed populations. The basic means, at the individual level, for the prevention of covid-19 disease remain the observance of the rules of hygiene and the observance of the distances by avoiding the synchronicity. These basic rules of individual prevention are by nature impossible to comply with in the KYT, due to the living conditions in them. The removal of unjustified traffic restrictions in CIS, their decongestion and the immediate relocation of the most vulnerable refugees / migrants to safe structures in the community are the only scientifically appropriate covid-19 disease prevention policies for the protection of both refugees and migrants. the protection of the general population “.

Demelza Haurat and Noor Rijnberg, doctors

“Let’s try to imagine what the mental state of someone who lives confined, along with 17,000 other people, can be in temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius in camps like Moria, where tensions are already high. Restricting freedom of movement worsens the psychological “We live every day in our clinic where we record an increase in cases of panic disorder and sexual and domestic violence.”

 

THE UNDERSIGNED ORGANISATIONS:

1. Αctionaid Hellas
2. Amnesty International
3. Are you Syrious?
4. ANTIGONE – Information and Documentation Centre on racism, ecology, peace and non-violence
5. ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth
6. Babel Day Center
7. Symbiosis – School of Political Studies in Greece – affiliated to the Council of Europe
8. Defense for Children International – Greece
9. Doctors of the World Greece
10. Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki
11. Εqual Rights Beyond Borders
12. Greek Helsinki Monitor
13. Greek Council for Refugees
14. Help Refugees
15. Hellenic League for Human Rights
16. HIAS Greece
17. HumanRights360
18. INTERSOS Hellas
19. Legal Centre Lesvos
20. MEDIN – Medical Intervention
21. Mobile Info Team Thessaloniki
22. Network for Children’s Rights
23. Refugee Legal Support
24. SolidarityNow
25. Terre des hommes Hellas
26. Thalassa of Solidarity

Ευρωπαϊκή Ουμανιστική Ομοσπονδία καλεί Τουρκία να ακυρώσει μετατροπή Αγίας Σοφίας σε τζαμί

ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΟΙ ΟΥΜΑΝΙΣΤΕΣ ΚΑΛΟΥΝ ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑ ΝΑ ΑΚΥΡΩΣΕΙ ΤΗ ΜΕΤΑΤΡΟΠΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΣΟΦΙΑΣ ΣΕ ΤΖΑΜΙ

Δημοσιεύτηκε στις 13/07/20

 

13 Ιουλίου 2020

 

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ουμανιστική Ομοσπονδία (EHF) καταδικάζει την απόφαση των τουρκικών αρχών να μετατρέψουν την Αγία Σοφία (Ayasofya ή Sancta Sophia) σε τζαμί ως πλήγμα για τον κοσμικό χαρακτήρα της χώρας της οποίας η μεγάλη πλειοψηφία είναι Μουσουλμάνοι. Η Αγία Σοφία ήταν βυζαντινή εκκλησία έως το 1453 και στη συνέχεια τζαμί μέχρι το 1935 όταν ο ιδρυτής του σύγχρονου κοσμικού τουρκικού κράτους Μουσταφά Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ το μετέτρεψε σε μουσείο.

«Ήταν η πιο σημαντική και σκόπιμη απόφαση του Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ να πει τον υπόλοιπο κόσμο: «Είμαστε κοσμικοί, είμαστε διαφορετικοί από άλλες μουσουλμανικές χώρες, είμαστε σαν Ευρωπαίοι και είμαστε σύγχρονοι, παρακαλώ δεχτείτε μας μεταξύ σας. Θέλουμε να το δούμε έτσι … Το τουρκικό έθνος είναι πολύ περήφανο που είναι το μόνο κοσμικό μουσουλμανικό έθνος και αυτό ήταν το μεγαλύτερο σημάδι του. Τώρα πήραν αυτή την υπερηφάνεια από το έθνος», δήλωσε χθες ο Τούρκος νικητής βραβείου Νόμπελ λογοτεχνίας Ορχάν Παμούκ στην Nikkei Asian Review.

Η EHF πιστεύει πράγματι ότι με αυτήν την εξαιρετικά συμβολική κίνηση, οι τουρκικές αρχές επιβεβαιώνουν τις μακροχρόνιες ανησυχίες ότι θέλουν να μετατρέψουν τη χώρα σε ισλαμικό κράτος ασυμβίβαστο με τις αξίες της Ευρώπης, στην οποία η Τουρκία  ισχυρίζεται ότι συνεχίζει να φιλοδοξεί να ανήκει, και θέτει σε κίνδυνο την κοσμικές και άλλες επικριτικές φωνές.

Αυτός είναι ο λόγος για τον οποίο η EHF καλεί την Τουρκία να ακυρώσει αμέσως αυτήν την απόφαση.

——————————————-

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ουμανιστική Ομοσπονδία είναι αναγνωρισμένος συνομιλητής της ΕΕ στο θεσμικό διάλογο με εκκλησίες, θρησκευτικές και φιλοσοφικές οργανώσεις του Άρθρου 17 της Συνθήκης για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, με 60 οργανώσεις-μέλη σε 25 ευρωπαϊκές χώρες που εκπροσωπούν άθρησκους και άθεους.

European Humanists call on Turkey to reverse Ayasofya’s conversion to mosque

EHF CALLS ON TURKEY TO REVERSE AYASOFYA’S CONVERSION TO MOSQUE

13 July 2020

 

The European Humanist Federation condemns the decision of Turkish authorities to convert Ayasofya (Haghia Sophia or Sancta Sophia) back to a mosque as a blow to the secular character of the country whose large majority are Muslims. Ayasofia was a Byzantine church through 1453 and then a mosque until 1935 when the founder of the modern secular Turkish state Mustafa Kemal Atatürk transformed it into a museum.

“It was the most important and deliberate decision by Kemal Ataturk to say rest of world: ‘We are secular, we are different than other Muslim countries, we are like Europeans and we are modern so please accept us among you. We want to be seen like this…The Turkish nation is very proud to be the only secular Muslim nation and this was the biggest sign of it. Now they took away that pride from the nation” said yesterday Turkish  Nobel Prize winner for literature Orhan Pamuk to Nikkei Asian Review.

EHF believes indeed that with this highly symbolic move, Turkish authorities confirm the long-standing concerns that they want to turn the country into an Islamic state incompatible with the values of Europe to which Turkey claims that it continues to aspire to belong and jeopardizing secular and other critical voices.

This is why EHF calls on Turkey to promptly reverse that decision.

 

Προτάσεις φορέων για το θεσμό του προσωπικού βοηθού ατόμων με αναπηρία

ΠΡΟΣ: Υπουργείο Εργασίας και Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων
Υπουργό Εργασίας & Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων
κ Ιωάννη Βρούτση
ΚΟΙΝ: Υφυπουργό Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων (Πρόνοιας & Κοινωνικής Αλληλεγγύης)
Δρ. Δόμνα – Μαρία Μιχαηλίδου
Γενικό Γραμματέα Κοινωνικής Αλληλεγγύης & Καταπολέμησης της Φτώχειας
κ Γιώργο Σταμάτη
ΘΕΜΑ: ΠΡΟΤΑΣΕΙΣ ΦΟΡΕΩΝ ΓΙΑ ΤΟ ΘΕΣΜΟ ΤΟΥ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΙΚΟΥ ΒΟΗΘΟΥ ΑμεΑ
Αξιότιμε κε Υπουργέ,
Επικοινωνούμε μαζί σας, έχοντας την κοινή ιδιότητα του γονέα παιδιών με αυτισμό, ψυχικές-κινητικές αναπηρίες διαφόρων ποσοστών και λειτουργικότητας.
Θεωρούμε, ως ευπαθής κοινωνική ομάδα, ότι είναι ανάγκη η Πολιτεία να ενσκήψει στα προβλήματα της καθημερινότητας που έχουμε, ώστε να λάβουν τα παιδιά μας την αναγκαία και εξειδικευμένη βοήθεια που χρειάζονται για την ομαλή και ισότιμη συμμετοχή τους στο κοινωνικό σύνολο.
Το αντίθετο, αναμφίβολα, θα ισοδυναμούσε με κατάφωρη εις βάρος τους διάκριση και καταστρατήγηση των δικαιωμάτων τους για αξιοπρεπή διαβίωση.
Σε πρόσφατη ενημέρωση που είχαν φορείς και γονείς, την Δευτέρα 29 Ιουνίου 2020 από το Γενικό γραμματέα αλληλεγγύης κ. Γιώργο Σταμάτη (Μια Συνάντηση για τον Αυτισμό που μας γεμίζει Ελπίδα για το Μέλλον;), πληροφορηθήκαμε την πολύ θετική πρωτοβουλία του Υπουργείου σας για πρόγραμμα εξειδικευμένης βοήθειας σε ΑμεΑ.
Η ανάγκη για μια κατ’ οίκον υποστήριξη σε ένα λελογισμένο ωράριο ανά εβδομάδα, θεωρούμε ότι πρέπει να δρομολογηθεί άμεσα και είναι επιβεβλημένη, μιας και οι οικογένειες μας εδώ και χρόνια καλύπτουν το τεράστιο κενό στήριξης της πολιτείας.
Η γενικευμένη έλλειψη δομών υποστήριξης ολοήμερης μορφής για τα παιδιά μας, που θα συνδύαζε έναν προγραμματισμένο κύκλο θετικών παρεμβάσεων, θεραπευτικών συνεδριών αποκατάστασης λόγου και δεξιοτήτων αυτοεξυπηρέτησης, καθώς και κοινωνικοποίησης, είναι μια θλιβερή πραγματικότητα στην καθημερινότητά μας. Οι εν λόγω συνθήκες μας ωθούν στο να σας προτείνουμε, ευκαιρίας δοθείσης, τη θεσμοθέτηση μιας εξατομικευμένης βοήθειας, τον Προσωπικό Βοηθό ΑμεΑ και για τα άτομα με αυτισμό και ΔΑΦ.
Φυσικά, οι ανάγκες των παιδιών μας, κατευθύνουν την όποια οργανώτρια Αρχή, εφόσον με την κατάλληλη πολιτική βούληση αποφασιστεί η υλοποίηση του θεσμού, να περιορίσει την επιλογή προσώπων που θα στελεχώνουν τις σχετικές υπηρεσίες κατ’ οίκον, σε εκείνα που θα κατέχουν την αναγκαία επαγγελματική εξειδίκευση για την άρτια υποστήριξή τους. Προς αποφυγή περαιτέρω κόστους και χρόνου εκπαίδευσης στα προβλήματα των ατόμων με αναπηρίες, προτείνουμε τις κάτωθι ειδικότητες, έστω και ως τελειόφοιτοι των αντίστοιχων τμημάτων σπουδών:
εργοθεραπευτές/τριες,
ειδικοί νοσηλευτές/τριες,
λογοθεραπευτές/τριες,
ψυχολόγοι,
ειδικοί παιδαγωγοί και
κοινωνικοί λειτουργοί.
Επειδή έχει εκφραστεί προβληματισμός για την εφαρμογή του Προσωπικού Βοηθού στην περίπτωση του αυτισμού, θεωρούμε χρήσιμο να γίνουν οι εξής επισημάνσεις:
Υπάρχει διεθνής πρακτική που ακολουθείται εδώ και δεκαετίες, άρα και έτοιμη τεχνογνωσία και βιβλιογραφία.
Το εξειδικευμένο προσωπικό που προτάθηκε παραπάνω έχει τις γνώσεις, τα εργαλεία, και τις μεθόδους που χρειάζονται για να ανταπεξέλθει άριστα στα καθήκοντα του Προσωπικού Βοηθού ΑμεΑ και για τις Διαταραχές Αυτιστικού Φάσματος και για αλλα σύνδρομα και παθήσεις.
Οι ανάγκες των παιδιών με Αυτισμό, με ψυχικές παθήσεις, σύνδρομα και κινητικές αναπηρίες είναι επιβεβλημένο να στηριχθούν.
Αυτό πρέπει να γίνει για όλες τις κατηγορίες ΑμεΑ, χωρίς καμία απολύτως εξαίρεση.
Αναμένοντας τα πορίσματα της ομάδας εργασίας του υπουργείου σας, ελπίζουμε στην κατά το δυνατότερο ανταπόκρισή σας στο αίτημα μας.
Παραμένουμε στη διάθεσή σας για κάθε διευκρίνιση και συνεργασία.
Σύλλογοι:
Φάσμα Σωματείο γονέων και συγγενών παιδιών με Αυτισμό και Asperger Κορινθίας
Σύλλογος Γονέων, Κηδεμόνων & Φίλων ατόμων με αυτισμό και Ειδικές Ανάγκες, “Η Αγία Σκέπη”
Νομαρχιακός Σύλλογος Γονέων και Κηδεμόνων ΑμεΑ Ν.Ηλειας “ΗΛΙΣ”
Ελληνικός Σύλλογος για το Σύνδρομο Asperger (Ελ.σ.σ.Α)
Σωματείο Γονέων Κηδεμόνων και Φίλων Ατόμων με Αυτισμό – Νοητική Υστέρηση “ΘΑΡΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΖΩΗ”
Μέριμνα Ατόμων με Αυτισμό (Μ.Α.μ.Α) Βέροια.
ΔΑΔΑΑ – Σύλλογος για Παιδιά και Ενήλικες με ΔΑΔ, Αυτισμό & Asperger
Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ Π.ΕΑιτωλοακαρνανίας Απόστολος Λουκάς
Προσωρινή Διοίκηση Συλλόγου Γονέων Κηδεμόνων και Φίλων Αμεα Και Αναπήρων Ικαρίας «Ηλιαχτίδα»
Περιφέρειακη Ομοσπονδία ΑμεΑ Βορείου Αιγαίου
Σωματείο Π.Ε. Ροδόπης
Πανσαμιακό Σωματείο ΑμεΑ Νίκος Μένεγας ο Ίκαρος
Παγχιακος Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ. Χίο)
Σωματείο ΑμεΑ ” Το Μέλλον” Νότιας Κρήτης
Συνεταιρισμός ΑμεΑ “Ηλιοτρόπια” Βόλου
Σωματείο ΑμεΑ “Δημιουργώ κ Προσφέρω” Δράμας
Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ “Αρωγή” Τρικάλων
Νομαρχιακό Σωματείο ΑμεΑ Καρδίτσας
Νομαρχιακός Σύλλογος ΑΜΕΑ Ν. Έβρου
Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ Κοιν.Σ.ΕΠ “ΜΑΝΑ”
Σύλλογος Αυτισμού Θεσσαλίας.
Σύλλογος Γον.Κηδ.ΕΕΕΕΚ Γενισεας Ξάνθης
Σωματείο ΑμεΑ Π.Ε Ξάνθης
Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ Παραρτήματος Ξάνθης
Σύλλογος ΑμεΑ “Αγκαλιά” Ν. Άρτας
Σύλλογος γονέων και κηδεμόνων ΕΕΕΕΚ και ΕΝΕΓΗΛ Αλεξανδρούπολης
Σύλλογος γονέων και κηδεμόνων του ειδικού Δημοτικού σχολείου Μολάους ΣΥΝ-ΥΠΑΡΧΩ
Σύλλογος γονέων κ Κηδεμόνων Ειδικού σχολείου Γιαννιτσών
Σύλλογος γονέων & φιλων “Μιλάμε για τον αυτισμό”
Σύλλογος γονέων κηδεμόνων και φίλων ατόμων με αυτισμό Ρεθυμνου
Σύλλογος Γον.Κηδ ΕΕΕΕΚ Πύργου
Σύλλογος Γον.Κηδ ΑμεΑ Δυτικής Μακεδονίας
Σύλλογος γονέων και κηδεμόνων ειδικού Δημοτικού σχολείου Ωρωπού
Σύλλογος γονέων κηδεμόνων και φίλων ατόμων με διαταραχές αυτιστικού φάσματος νομού Πρέβεζας “ΔΥΝΑΜΗ”
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Μ.Κ.Ο:
Ελληνικό παρατηρητήριο των συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι (ΕΠΣΕ)

Mandatory declaration of religion breaches human rights says NSS in third-party intervention to ECHR on Papanikolaou v Greece

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MANDATORY DECLARATION OF RELIGION BREACHES HUMAN RIGHTS, SAYS EHF MEMBER NSS

Posted: Fri, 26 Jun 2020

European Court of Human Rights

 

The National Secular Society, a member of the European Humanist Federation,  has challenged a requirement that parents in Greece must declare their religion on children’s birth certificates in an intervention at the European Court of Human Rights.

In Papanikolaou v Greece, the ECHR is considering whether the obligation violates article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to freedom of religion and belief.

In a submission to the court, the NSS has argued that the obligation goes against both article nine and article eight, which protects the right to private and family life.

NSS submission

The NSS said the obligation is “blatantly contrary to the convention” and is “clearly unnecessary processing of sensitive personal data contrary to the fundamental rights of parent and child”.

It added that the obligation depends on treating those of a particular faith “as a cohesive group”, defying the need to treat freedom of religion or belief primarily as an individual right.

The society argued that the requirement goes against both the plain words of the relevant articles of the ECHR and relevant case law.

In previous cases the ECHR has ruled that requiring individuals to reveal their personal beliefs violates article nine.

It has also established that disclosure of information about personal religious and philosophical convictions may engage article eight, as such convictions concern some of the most intimate aspects of private life.

NSS comment

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said: “We’ve intervened in this case to uphold the principle that nobody should be required to reveal their personal beliefs, which can often be a very sensitive issue, without very good reason.

“There’s no good reason why the Greek state should need to know the religion of a newborn child’s parents, so the court should ensure it upholds the right to freedom of belief and the right to privacy.”

NSS intervention welcomed

Panayote Dimitras of Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) – which monitors, lobbies and litigates on human and minority rights and anti-discrimination issues in Greece – and Secretary General of the European Humanist Federation, said the NSS’s intervention was “greatly appreciated”.

He added that it would “add crucial arguments” to the points raised in GHM’s own submission, as was the case in previous similar cases before the court.


See here also:

Greece on trial before ECtHR for registration of religion in birth certificates

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders: Sentencing of KISA in Cyprus – an unjustified restriction to freedom of expression and a dangerous precedent

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Cyprus: Sentencing of KISA – an unjustified restriction to freedom of expression and a dangerous precedent

URGENT INTERVENTION – THE OBSERVATORY

Cyprus

June 22, 2020

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Cyprus.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) about the sentencing of KISA, an NGO that works for the rights of migrants and denounces cases of racism and hate speech.

According to the information received, on June 5, 2020 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Cyprus sentenced KISA to pay a fine of EUR 10.000 for damages to Mr. Christos Clerides. The organisation was found guilty of the crimes of “defamation” and “harmful forgery” in relation to a document drafted in 2010 calling the Government of Cyprus to terminate the appointment of Mr. Christos Clerides and Mr. Xenis Xenofontos to the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The decision of the Supreme Court has been appealed.

In the draft petition, KISA denounced that the blog “Christofias Watch” incited hatred and violence against Mr. Makarios Drousiotis, a prominent journalist that defends the peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem and documents the rise of right-wing extremism in the island. The organisation underlined that the administrator of the blog was Mr. Xenis Xenofontos and his lawyer, who gave an interview to “Christofias-Watch”, Mr. Christos Clerides. At the time, Mr. Xenis Xenofontos and Mr. Christos Clerides where the alternate member and member, respectively, of the Republic of Cyprus of the FRA Management Board. KISA underlined that individuals inciting violence against people with a different opinion than their own were not qualified to represent the Republic of Cyprus at the FRA and thus called the Government of Cyprus to replace them.

Even though the joint petition was not public and was never sent to the FRA, a journalist leaked the document to Mr. Clerides, who filed a libel suit against KISA together with Mr. Xenofontos. After his appointment as a judge, Mr. Xenofontos withdrew the complaint; however, the judicial proceedings against KISA remained opened for 10 years until the organisation was finally convicted on June 5, 2020.

The Observatory underlines that the conviction of KISA is not an isolated incident but is part of a series of attacks and acts of harassment against KISA for its work defending human rights, including the arbitrary detention of the Executive Director of KISA, Mr. Doros Polykarpou, on August 2, 2019[1].

The Observatory expresses its deep concern over the conviction of KISA on charges of “defamation”, as it establishes an unjustified restriction to freedom of expression and sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the right to defend human rights in Cyprus. In that regard, the Observatory recalls that Cyprus has an international obligation to protect human rights defenders and particularly, their right to hold opinions without interference and to denounce human rights abuses.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Cyprus to urge them to:

  1.       Guarantee in all circumstance the physical and psychological integrity of the members of KISA;
  2.       Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against KISA, its members, and all other human rights defenders in Cyprus and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals;
  3.      Guarantee in all circumstances the right to freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);
  4.       Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular Articles 1, and 12;
  5.       Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments to which Cyprus is a State party.

Addresses:

  • President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades Email: info@presidency.gov.cy Fax: +357 22 663799
  • Minister of Justice Mr. George L. SavvidesEmail: registry@mjpo.gov.cy Fax: +357 22518356
  • Police Service of Cyprus, Chief of Police Kypros Michaelides, Email: police@police.gov.cy Fax: +4122808598
  • Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the EU, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, Email: cy.perm.rep@mfa.gov.cyFax: +32 2 7354552
  • Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassador George Kasoulides, Email: pm.geneva@mfa.gov.cyFax:+41227910084
  • Embassy of Cyprus in Brussels, Belgium, Ambassador Antonis Grivas   Εmail: cyprusembassybe@mfa.gov.cyFax +322650 06 20

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Cyprus in your respective countries.

***

Geneva-Paris, June 22, 2020

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society. 

 To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

  • E-mail:Appeals@fidh-omct.org
  • Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
  • Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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