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IHEU 2018 Freedom of Thought Report & Report on Greece

In a world first, a list of the best and worst countries to be an atheist has been published.

The report is published by the world’s leading organisation for the non-religious, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

The IHEU also supports humanists at risk of persecution, and has issued a renewed call for funding and donations to continue their important work

This year the IHEU launches it’s 7th annual Freedom of Thought Report at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. For the first time the report contains a ranking of every country in the world, according to its level of discrimination against atheists, humanists and the non-religious.

At the same time, the organization issues a call for support, from atheists and humanists in wealthier nations around the world, for valuable funds to continue its work.

Commenting on the launch of the 2018 report, Andrew Copson, President of the IHEU, said:

“This is a world’s first. For the first time our report will show, with authority and accuracy, the discrimination faced by people around the world because of their non-religious beliefs. This report paints a dark picture, with significant discrimination faced by our non-religious friends and colleagues around the world.

“At a time of growing nationalism, we continue to see those who are brave enough to criticise and critique conservative religious leaders demonized as ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘subversive’.

“At IHEU, we are leading the world in campaigning to promote and protect the rights of atheists and humanists – but frankly we cannot keep up with the large and powerful lobbies of the Christian-right in America and conservative Islam in the middle-east. This is why we issue a frank request; if you are lucky enough to live in one of the ‘top 10’ countries identified in this report, please consider making a donation today, so that we can continue our important work to protect those in the ‘worst 10’.”

Country Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression Base score Ranking
Belgium 0 1
Netherlands 0 1
Taiwan 0 1
France 2 4
Japan 2 4
Nauru 2 4
São Tomé and Príncipe 2 4
Norway 6 8
United States of America 6 8
Saint Kitts and Nevis 8 10

Above: the top 10 countries assessed by various forms of discrimination against the non-religious.
Below: the bottom 10, worst-performing countries. A colour-coded “Signal light” summarizes the severity of ratings applied in each of four thematic areas. Read more about the Ratings System and find the full Ranking Index at freethoughtreport.com.

Country Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression Base score Ranking
Brunei Darussalam 876 187
Sudan 880 188
Malaysia 923 189
Mauritania 940 190
United Arab Emirates 1060 191
Pakistan 1076 192
Maldives 1094 193
Afghanistan 1100 194
Iran 1287 195
Saudi Arabia 1358 196

Speaking at the launch of the report at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, said:

“The Freedom of Thought Report has become an invaluable source of well-researched and important information for policymakers. The report highlights the range of discrimination that people can face around the world because of their non-religious beliefs, something that many would like to ignore.”

Commentary on the 2018 edition and rankings

Sharing the number 1 spot, Belgium, Netherlands and Taiwan are congratulated for their “pluralistic” approach to religion in public life.

In the worst spot, Saudi Arabia comes into particular criticism for a 2014 law defining the “promotion of atheist thought in any form” as terrorism, and for the prosecution of liberal activists and campaigners generally, including a death sentence handed down in 2017 for an alleged ‘apostate’, Ahmad Al-Shamri, on the accusation of atheism.

In Pakistan, last year’s “anti-blasphemy crackdown” features prominently, several alleged atheist bloggers and activists having been arrested and tortured on charges of making posts online that were “insulting” to religion. Pre-trial detention and the slow progress of ‘blasphemy’ cases is a well-known issue in the Pakistani justice system, and some of those arrested as “atheists” early last year remain in prison.

The report notes that the appearance of Malaysia and Maldives in the bottom-10 rankings might surprise some. However, both countries have seen incidents of anti-atheist rhetoric in the past few years. In the Maldives, alleged atheists have been kidnapped, and secular activists have been disappeared or murdered; citizenship is restricted to Muslims and the previous government had been running an autocratic programme of Islamization, though this may change following an unexpected defeat in last month’s elections.

For further discussion of the ratings and rankings see the Editorial Introduction 2018.

To view or download the report see freethoughtreport.com.

 


Greece

Greece, regarded by many as the birthplace of democracy in Europe, has been hit hard by the current financial crisis, and seen a rise of extreme nationalism in recent years.

Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association. However, anti-blasphemy laws and state sponsorship of religion exist.

Orthodox privilege

The government financially supports the Orthodox Church; for example, the government pays for the salaries and religious training of clergy, finances the maintenance of Orthodox Church buildings, and exempts from tax Orthodox Church’s revenues from properties it owns.

Education and children’s rights

Orthodox religious instruction in primary and secondary schools, at government expense, is mandatory for all students. Although non-Orthodox students may exempt themselves, in practice public schools offer no alternative activity or non-Orthodox religious instruction for these children.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

Blasphemy

Recent years have seen a number of blasphemy cases, coinciding with increasing xenophobia and civil strife in Greek society. Article 198 of the Greek Penal Code states that “1. One who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes God shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years; 2. Anyone, except as described in par.1, who displays publicly with blasphemy a lack of respect for things divine, is punished with up to 3 months in prison.”

Article 199 states that “one who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes the Greek Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerable in Greece shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years.” Similarly, the country outlaws any speech or acts that “insults public sentiment” or “offends people’s religious sentiments.”

Highlighted cases

On June 9th, 2012, three actors in the play “Corpus Christi” were arrested on the charge of blasphemy following a lawsuit filed by Greek Orthodox Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus. Then, in November, the Athens public prosecutor charged the organizers, producers and cast of the play with blasphemy. If convicted, they could face several months in prison. According to newspaper reports, Bishop Seraphim was accompanied to court by members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
<csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/1002/Blasphemy-in-democracy-s-birthplace-Greece-arrests-Facebook-user>

In late September, 2012, a man was arrested in Evia, Greece, on charges of posting “malicious blasphemy and religious insult on the known social networking site, Facebook”. The accused, 27-year-old Phillipos Loizos, had created a Facebook page for “Elder Pastitsios the Pastafarian”, playing on a combination of Elder Paisios, the late Greek-Orthodox monk revered as a prophet by some, and the Greek food pastitsio, a baked pasta dish made of ground beef and béchamel sauce. “Pastafarian” refers to the spoof religion of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, itself an intentional pun on aspects of Creationism. A manipulated image on the Facebook page depicted Elder Pastitsios with a pastitsio where the monk’s face would normally appear.
<greece.greekreporter.com/2012/11/16/greece-prosecutes-corpus-christi-for-blasphemy/>

On March 14th, 2013, Greek artist Dionysis Kavalieratos was tried in court on blasphemy charges for three of his Christian-themed cartoons that were displayed in a private Athens art gallery. The gallery owner was a co-defendant. He was acquitted.
<onthewaytoithaca.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/greek-artist-acquitted-of-blasphemy-charges/>

European humanists welcome the Irish vote for freedom of expression.

Posted on the 27/10/18

 

The European Humanist Federation (EHF) rejoices at the results of the Irish referendum on repealing the clause penalizing blasphemy in the country’s Constitution.

This result is yet another important milestone that will foster the harmonious co-existence of the many life stances present in our modern societies, including in Ireland.

, said Giulio Ercolessi, President of the European Humanist Federation.

Laws penalizing blasphemy by definition violate freedom of expression, a fundamental principle of democratic societies that can be limited only in very specific cases such as incitement to hatred or violence. Ercolessi added:

By their mere presence, blasphemy laws have a chilling effect on asking questions, expressing criticism or making ridicule or satire in relation with religion. The Irish people have recognized this and voted in accordance. We congratulate them wholeheartedly!

In light of this positive result, the European Humanist Federation calls those European countries that still have blasphemy laws, such as Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, or parts of the United Kingdom to follow Irelands lead.

Repealing the last blasphemy laws still in force in Europe is fundamental not only because it will foster freedom of expression but also because it allows the EU to reinforce its voice worldwide when it promotes human rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief.

, commented Giulio Ercolessi.

In some of these countries, people still effectively face prosecution, trial and condemnation for blasphemy. Most of the time, these take the form of fines. In other countries, these laws are only vestigial of an old system some of the elements of which are still being fiercely protected by a loud reactionary minority.

Ο Μωάμεθ, η ελευθερία της έκφρασης και η παρέμβαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου

echrcaselaw

Ο Μωάμεθ, η ελευθερία της έκφρασης και η παρέμβαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου

ΑΠΟΦΑΣΗ

E.S. κατά Αυστρίας της 25.10.2018 (αριθ. προσφ. 38450/12)

βλ. εδώ

ΠΕΡΙΛΗΨΗ

Ελευθερία έκφρασης και κριτική στον Μωάμεθ. Ενημερωτικά σεμινάρια για το ισλάμ, στα οποία η διοργανώτρια χαρακτήρισε τον Μωάμεθ ως παιδεραστή, λόγω του γάμου του με την εξάχρονη Aisha. Επιβολή προστίμου για υποκίνηση θρησκευτικής μισαλλοδοξίας. Το Δικαστήριο έκρινε ότι οι δηλώσεις δεν είχαν γίνει με αντικειμενικό τρόπο, και δεν συνέβαλλαν στο δημόσιο διάλογο (όπως ο γάμος ανηλίκων), αλλά αντιθέτως ειπώθηκαν με σκοπό να αποδείξουν ότι ο Μωάμεθ δεν ήταν άξιος λατρείας. Αναφορά υποκειμενικών αξιολογικών κρίσεων για τον Μωάμεθ σχετικά με τη γενική σεξουαλική του προτίμηση, χωρίς ενημέρωση του κοινού για το ιστορικό υπόβαθρο. Μη παραβίαση της ελευθερίας της έκφρασής.

ΔΙΑΤΑΞΗ

Άρθρο 10

ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΑ ΠΕΡΙΣΤΑΤΙΚΑ

Η προσφεύγουσα, E.S., είναι υπήκοος της Αυστρίας, η οποία γεννήθηκε το 1971 και ζει στη Βιέννη.

Η υπόθεση αφορά την καταδίκη της προσφεύγουσας για αποτροπιασμό των θρησκευτικών δογμάτων. Τον Οκτώβριο και τον Νοέμβριο του 2009, η κ. S. πραγματοποίησε δύο σεμινάρια με τίτλο «Βασικές πληροφορίες για το Ισλάμ», στην οποία αναφέρθηκε στον γάμο μεταξύ του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ και της εξάχρονης Aisha, γάμος ο οποίος ολοκληρώθηκε όταν η τελευταία ήταν εννιά ετών. Η προσφεύγουσα δήλωσε, μεταξύ άλλων, ότι στον Μωάμεθ «άρεσε να έχει σεξουαλικές σχέσεις με παιδιά» και «…» Ένας 56χρονος και μία εξάχρονη; … Πώς να το ονομάσει κανείς, αν όχι παιδεραστία; ».

Στις 15 Φεβρουαρίου 2011, το Περιφερειακό Ποινικό Δικαστήριο της Βιέννης διαπίστωσε ότι αυτές οι δηλώσεις μεταδίδουν το μήνυμα ότι ο Μωάμεθ είχε παιδόφιλες τάσεις και καταδίκασε την κυρία S. για προσβολή θρησκευτικού δόγματος. Καταδικάστηκε στην καταβολή πρόστιμου ύψους 480 ευρώ και στην καταβολή των εξόδων της δίκης. Η κ. S. άσκησε έφεση, αλλά το Εφετείο της Βιέννης επιβεβαίωσε την απόφαση τον Δεκέμβριο του 2011, επικυρώνοντας κατ’ ουσία τα πορίσματά του κατώτερου δικαστηρίου. Το αίτημα επανεκκίνησης της διαδικασίας απορρίφθηκε από το Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο στις 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2013.

Βασιζόμενη στο άρθρο 10 (ελευθερία έκφρασης), η S. καταγγέλλει ότι τα εθνικά δικαστήρια παρέλειψαν να εξετάσουν την ουσία των επίμαχων δηλώσεων υπό το πρίσμα του δικαιώματός της στην ελευθερία έκφρασης.

Αν το είχαν πράξει, δεν θα είχαν χαρακτηρίσει τις δηλώσεις της ως απλή αξιολογική κρίση αλλά ως αξιολογική κρίση βασισμένη σε γεγονότα. Επιπλέον, η κριτική της για το Ισλάμ έλαβε χώρα στο πλαίσιο μιας αντικειμενικής και ζωντανής συζήτησης που συνέβαλε στη προώθηση δημόσιας συζήτησης και δεν είχε ως στόχο την δυσφήμιση του Προφήτη του Ισλάμ. Τέλος, η κ. S. υποστήριξε ότι οι θρησκευτικές ομάδες πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζονται ως δημόσιοι θεσμοί και ως εκ τούτου έπρεπε να ανέχονται και να δέχονται ακόμη και σοβαρές επικρίσεις.

ΤΟ ΣΤΡΑΣΒΟΥΡΓΟ ΑΠΟΦΑΣΙΖΕΙ…

Άρθρο 10

Το Δικαστήριο σημείωσε ότι όσοι επιλέγουν να ασκήσουν την ελευθερία έκφρασης της θρησκείας τους σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 9 της Σύμβασης, δεν μπορούν να περιμένουν ότι απαλλάσσονται από την κριτική. Πρέπει να ανέχονται και να δέχονται την άρνηση και την κριτική των θρησκευτικών τους πεποιθήσεων από τρίτους.  Μόνο όταν οι δηλώσεις και η κριτική, σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 10, υπερβαίνουν τα όρια της κριτικής άρνησης και όταν πιθανόν προκαλούν θρησκευτική μισαλλοδοξία, μόνο τότε ένα κράτος μπορεί νομίμως να τις θεωρεί ασυμβίβαστες με τον σεβασμό της ελευθερίας της σκέψης, συνείδησης και θρησκείας και μπορεί να λαμβάνει ανάλογα περιοριστικά μέτρα.

Το Δικαστήριο επανέλαβε ότι κάνει διάκριση στη νομολογία του μεταξύ δηλώσεων πραγματικών περιστατικών και αξιολογικών κρίσεων. Υπογράμμισε ότι η αλήθεια των αξιολογικών κρίσεων δεν ήταν επιδεκτική απόδειξης. Ωστόσο, ακόμη και μια εκτίμηση, κριτική χωρίς καμία πραγματική βάση στήριξης, μπορεί να είναι υπερβολική.

Το Δικαστήριο σημείωσε ότι τα εγχώρια δικαστήρια εξήγησαν εκτενώς τους λόγους για τους οποίους έκριναν ότι οι δηλώσεις και η κριτική  της προσφεύγουσας ήταν ικανές να προκαλέσουν δικαιολογημένη αγανάκτηση, δηλαδή ότι δεν είχαν γίνει με αντικειμενικό τρόπο, και δεν συνέβαλλαν στο δημόσιο διάλογο (όπως ο γάμος ανηλίκων), αλλά αντιθέτως ειπώθηκαν με σκοπό να αποδείξουν ότι ο Μωάμεθ δεν ήταν άξιος λατρείας.

Το Δικαστήριο συμφώνησε με τα εθνικά δικαστήρια ότι η κ. S. έπρεπε να γνωρίζει ότι οι δηλώσεις της βασίζονταν εν μέρει σε αναληθή γεγονότα και ήταν ικανές να προκαλέσουν αγανάκτηση σε τρίτους. Τα εθνικά δικαστήρια διαπίστωσαν ότι η κ. S. είχε χαρακτηρίσει υποκειμενικά τον Μωάμεθ ως παιδεραστή αναφορικά με τη γενική σεξουαλική του προτίμηση και ότι δεν ενημέρωσε με ουδέτερο τρόπο το ακροατήριό της για το ιστορικό υπόβαθρο, κάτι το οποίο συνεπώς δεν επέτρεψε να διεξαχθεί σοβαρή συζήτηση επί του θέματος. Ως εκ τούτου, το Δικαστήριο δεν είχε κανένα λόγο να απομακρυνθεί από τον χαρακτηρισμό των αμφισβητούμενων δηλώσεων ως αξιολογικές κρίσεις, βάσει της λεπτομερούς ανάλυσης των δηλώσεων που έγιναν.

Το Δικαστήριο έκρινε επίσης ότι ακόμη και σε μια ζωντανή συζήτηση δεν είναι συμβατό με το άρθρο 10 της Σύμβασης να συσσωρεύονται ενοχοποιητικές δηλώσεις στη κατά τα άλλα αποδεκτή έκφρασης γνώμης και να συναχθεί ότι αυτό θα καθιστούσε τις δηλώσεις υπερβαίνουσες τα επιτρεπόμενα όρια της ελευθερίας έκφρασης επιτρεπτές.

Τέλος, δεδομένου ότι η S. ήταν υποχρεωμένη να καταβάλει χαμηλό πρόστιμο και το πρόστιμο ήταν χαμηλότερο από το σύνηθες ποσό που επιβάλλονταν σε αντίστοιχες υποθέσεις, η ποινική κύρωση δεν μπορούσε να θεωρηθεί δυσανάλογη.

Εν κατακλείδι, τα εγχώρια δικαστήρια είχαν εκτιμήσει διεξοδικά το ευρύτερο πλαίσιο των δηλώσεων της προσφεύγουσας και εξισορρόπησαν προσεκτικά το δικαίωμά της στην ελευθερία έκφρασης με τα δικαιώματα τρίτων αναφορικά με τη προστασία των θρησκευτικών αισθημάτων και τη διατήρηση την θρησκευτική ειρηνικής στην αυστριακή κοινωνία. Είχαν συζητήσει τα επιτρεπτά όρια της κριτικής των θρησκευτικών δογμάτων και διαπίστωσαν ότι οι δηλώσεις του προσφεύγοντος ήταν πιθανό να προκαλέσουν δικαιολογημένη αγανάκτηση στους μουσουλμάνους. Επιπλέον, οι φερόμενες δηλώσεις δεν είχαν διατυπωθεί με ουδέτερο τρόπο, με στόχο να αποτελέσουν αντικειμενική συμβολή σε δημόσιο διάλογο σχετικά με τους γάμους ανηλίκων, αλλά μάλλον αποτελούσαν γενίκευση χωρίς πραγματική βάση. Έτσι, θεωρώντας τις δηλώσεις ως υπερβαίνοντας τα επιτρεπτά όρια μιας αντικειμενικής συζήτησης και χαρακτηρίζοντάς τα ως μια καταχρηστική επίθεση στον προφήτη του Ισλάμ, που ήταν ικανή να προκαλέσει προκατάληψη και να θέσει σε κίνδυνο την θρησκευτική ειρήνη, τα εθνικά δικαστήρια είχαν καταλήξει στο συμπέρασμα ότι τα επίδικα πραγματικά περιστατικά περιείχαν στοιχεία υποκίνησης της θρησκευτικής μισαλλοδοξίας. Έτσι, είχαν προβάλει σχετικούς και επαρκείς λόγους και δεν είχαν υπερβεί το ευρύ περιθώριο εκτιμήσεώς τους. Η παρέμβαση στα δικαιώματα της προσφεύγουσας βάσει του άρθρου 10 ανταποκρινόταν πράγματι σε μια πιεστική κοινωνική ανάγκη και ήταν ανάλογη προς τον επιδιωκόμενο θεμιτό σκοπό.

Συνολικά, δεν υπήρξε παραβίαση του άρθρου 10 (επιμέλεια echrcaselaw.com). 

IHEU ‘frustrated’, as European Court fails to overturn ‘blasphemy’ conviction in Austria

In a recent judgement, the European Court of Human Rights has refused to overturn a conviction for ‘disparaging religious doctrines’ about Islam, effectively amounting to a ‘blasphemy’ charge.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has expressed ‘frustration’ at another judgement from the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of ‘blasphemy’ and free speech.

An Austrian right-wing activist, known only as ‘E.S.’, was charged with “disparaging religious doctrines” after hosting a series of seminars in which she criticized the central figure of Islam, calling him, among other things, a paedophile. The activist appealed the convictions, unsuccessfully, and was eventually ordered to pay a 480 EUR fine.

E.S. appealed this conviction to the European Court of Human Rights, asking the court to rule that the conviction breached her right to freedom of expression.

The European Court did not agree with this argument. Instead the European Court, in keeping with previous judgements on the issue, said that the conviction was within ‘the margin of appreciation’ for the Austrian state. This means that they did not fully examine the facts of the case, or the fundamental arguments, but instead decided to allow the original decision of the Austrian courts to stand.

Commenting on the news, IHEU Chief Executive Gary McLelland, said:

“This case deals with important issues of principles, as well as delicate matters of politics. Many people will find the nature and tone of the original comments deeply offensive, and may be concerned about the impact they will have on society.

“Nevertheless, the decision of the European Court not to intervene in this case is frustrating, and adds to the increasing timidity of the Court on these fundamental issues of free expression. With a rising tide of nationalism and populism across Europe, it’s not difficult to see why so many would like to avoid confronting these difficult issues. But curtailing free expression risks legitimising the fractures voices of the paranoid, and creating a ‘taboo’ culture of secrecy.

“To be clear, it is not our concern here that courts may want to take action to prevent genuine incitement to hatred. But it should concern everyone that European states are given the margin to criminalize ‘disparaging religious doctrines’, and that the European Court of Human Rights is actively asserting a non-existent right of people ‘to have their religious feelings protected’.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must resist the urge to give religion a special pass from robust and even offensive criticism.”

Six years on, Greece still needs to fix its law on torture

https://redress.org/assets/images/logo.png
Date: 26/10/18
Necati Zontul

Six years on, Greece still needs to fix its law on torture

REDRESS has filed a submission with the Council of Europe addressing Greece’s failure to implement the 2012 decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Zontul v Greece. The decision found that Greek law was incompatible with the country’s international obligations to prevent and prosecute torture. Greece’s continuing failure to implement the Court’s decision has important implications for the ongoing torture and ill-treatment of migrants in Greece.

Background

Necati Zontul was tortured by officers of the Greek Coastguard while detained in a camp for asylum seekers in 2001. Following a flawed investigation and prosecution of the Coastguard officers responsible for Necati’s treatment by the Greek authorities, REDRESS assisted Necati in bringing a case against Greece at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Court found in favour of Necati in 2012, concluding that Greece had breached Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights as a result of Necati’s torture and denial of reparations, as well as Greece’s failure to investigate and sanction the perpetrators appropriately.

Submission

REDRESS’s new submission is directed to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, the body responsible for supervising the implementation of European Court of Human Rights decisions. It recommends that the Committee encourage Greece to:

  • ensure that investigations into torture in Greece are fully independent of the authorities accused of the torture
  • reform Greece’s law on torture to make it compatible with Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights and with Article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture
  • ensure that sanctions for torture and ill-treatment in Greece are sufficiently punitive.

These reforms are necessary to make sure that no others are subjected to the same migration-related torture that Necati had to suffer, and that those responsible for the torture of Necati and others are held to account for their actions. It is also important for Greece to show that it is complying with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and that it is meeting its obligations under international law.

REDRESS’s submission to the Committee of Ministers is available here.

More information about Necati’s case can be found here.

Campaign for the access to asylum: The implementation  of the EU-Turkey Statement is an insult for the human life and dignity

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The implementation  of the EU-Turkey Statement is an insult for the human life and dignity

Athens 24 October 2018

With regard to the intensification of the problems in the islands of Eastern Aegean, both concerning the inhumane living conditions for refugees and the alarming increase of incidents of racism and intolerance, that are taking place because of the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, we repeat our standing position:

 The dealing with these problems which refugees face, making them victims and hostages of the preventive policy that EU member states implement and of the continuing tendency of banishment of the Refugee Issue in the fringes of or even outside European borders, cannot have any other approach than:

  • The abandonment of the EU-Turkey Statement and more importantly the abandonment of the submission of refugees in conditions of endless detention and lock-in, that have caused all the problems we witness the last few years.
  • The reinstatement of human life and dignity in the center of the relative political planning, in comparison to the current preventive policy and degradation of human value.
  • The strategic planning for the smooth integration of refugees throughout the Greek territory, in a way that promotes the coexistence with local communities, instead of making it difficult, like the current policy of prevention and ghettoisation in distant camps of mainland.

The dealing of the problems that beset the refugee population and have a negative impact in local communities, does not consist of half-measures for the reduction of refugee population or for temporary improvement of living conditions, or of course does not consist of the criminalization of the solidarity towards refugees. The situation needs to be confronted with the abandonment of the political implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, that is the main cause for the lock in of refugees in the islands and the concomitant problems.

Signing Organisations (in alphabetic order):

 AITIMA http://www.aitima.gr

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth arsis.gr | arsis

 Network of Social Support for Refugees and Migrants
 http://migrant.diktio.org

 Greek Council for Refugeeshttp://www.gcr.gr

Greek Forum of Refugeeshttp://refugees.gr

 Greek Helsinki Monitorhttps://greekhelsinki.wordpress.com

Initiative for the Detainees’ Rightshttp://www.tokeli.gr

“LATHRA?” Committee for Solidarity to Refugees in Chios http://www.lathra.gr

Lawyers’ Team for Refugees’ and Migrants’ Rights http://www.omadadikigorwn.blogspot.com

 PRAKSIS http://www.praksis.gr

Refugees Support Aegeanhttp://rsaegean.org

World without Wars and Violencehttp://www.kosmosxorispolemous.gr