Guardian: Homophobic Violence in Greece Not Effectively Tackled by Law

Nearly three years after it was first brought to parliament, Greek MPs are poised to pass an anti-racism bill which human rights groups say still falls far short of dealing with an epidemic of racist and homophobic violence in the country, writes The Guardian.

Referring to the long anticipated anti-racism bill passed in principle from the Greek Parliament last week, it rings the bell for the rise of homophobic violence in the country.

“International consternation has been exacerbated by the recent surge of attacks on men and women in Greece’s gay community – often by black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Piling the pressure on the government, EU Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks urged Greek authorities to move forward with the adoption of wide-ranging anti-racism laws.

In a statement, he said: “The reported rise of homophobic attacks and the continuing racist hate crime in Greece signal the urgent need to adopt and effectively implement comprehensive legislation in order to eliminate intolerance, hate speech and violence in the country.”

The Guardian cites many stories of violent events that took place this summer.

“Over the summer, assailants have not only targeted dark-skinned immigrants but also appear to have singled out gay people for attack. Some have been so brutally beaten, they have required extensive surgery after being set upon in public. One man, a schoolteacher, who would only give his name as Kostas, told The Guardian how he and his Kashmiri partner were savagely beaten up two weeks ago as they sat on a bench in a downtown Athens square,” it writes.

Greek security forces have been accused of complying with racist violence, the newspaper suggests. “Officers who were discovered to have been collaborating with the neo-fascist Golden Dawn have been removed from their posts. After six years of withering economic crisis, the party is the country’s third-biggest political force despite most of its leadership being detained in pre-trial custody on charges of running a criminal operation that sowed terror on the streets of Greece”, it writes.

The bill, which seeks to reinforce legislation drawn up in the 1970s, will toughen criminal sanctions for those inciting hatred, discrimination and violence. Deniers of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will also be penalized. But human rights groups said it still failed to encourage the reporting of violent hate crimes or guarantee appropriate action by the police and judiciary.

Right-wing MPs have resisted introducing legal protection for gay people, despite an alarming rise in homophobic attacks in Athens, claiming that such measures could take Greece down a dangerous path.

With debate at such levels, there is concern that, far from curbing hate crimes, the law will allow violence to flourish, the newspaper suggests.


  1. “International consternation has been exacerbated by the recent surge of attacks on men and women in Greece’s gay community – often by black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.” – This statement makes it sound as though Golden Dawn has launched countless attacks on immigrants and homosexuals. This is slander and speculation. If it were not, then there would be hundreds of convictions of Golden Dawn supporters for these acts. The reality is only a handful of alleged Golden Dawn supporters have ever been arrested for such acts, & of these, fewer still have been convicted. Wildly exaggerated accusations against Golden Dawn by the Leftist Guardian newspaper. No surprises there.

  2. Golden Dawn is NOT considered a criminal organization in Greece, the trial doesn’t commence until November and the “evidence” is very flimsy and laughable. Even the top aide of Greece’s PM Antonis Samaras, an MP named Baltakos, was caught on video camera admitting that far too many New Democracy voters were leaving to join Golden Dawn, and so the New Democracy led government is trying to “remove the competition” via politically orchestrated charges, designed to ban Golden Dawn or at least decapitate the party by jailing its leadership.

    “Could I have made a phone call and said keep them in custody? You saw that that did not occur, AT LEAST AT THE BEGINNING” -Greece PM Antonis Samaras referring to the arrest and imprisonment of Golden Dawn MP’s.

    The Golden Dawn MP & Party spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris (a 34yr old ex-commando) is charged with plotting to supply firearms to commit crimes – the reason? He owns a legally registered firearm, (which ballistics tests showed to be clean), but the state prosecutors said that his membership of Golden Dawn (Greece’s 3rd largest political party) was sufficient evidence that in future he might have lent that gun to others. WOW! By that reasoning anyone who owns a legally registered firearm could be told by the state that “we are going to jail you for 20 years because your political ideology leads us to believe that sometime down the track you might lend that gun to someone to kill a political opponent.” Ilias Kasidiaris is also facing charges because his father owns a legally registered handgun. Did you get that? Kasidiaris is being charged because a third party owns a legally registered handgun!

    “How could any intelligent human being believe that a criminal organization could be supplied with registered weapons? My client was set free after facing the main charges (of running a criminal organization) and is now being jailed for two … registered weapons.” Lawyer Nikos Antoniadis told reporters.”

    Golden Dawn was formed in 1985, & since then not a single member of Golden Dawn has been convicted of murder. Also lets not forget, that in November 2013, two young Golden Dawn members, Giorgos Fountoulis 27, & Manolis Kapelonis 22, were shot dead execution style, by Leftist extremists, as they stood chatting outside the Golden Dawn party offices in Athens.

  3. Wow, the politically orchestrated case is weaker than I thought. A few alleged scuffles, and street fights by low level alleged GD supporters, some dating from June 2008? Haha, I hear they even dug up a charge dating back from 2005, accusing one GD MP of stealing a wallet. Desperate, soooo desperate. Is this how the New Democracy-PASOK coalition regime plans to ban its opposition, “Golden Dawn”, (Greece’s 3rd most popular party).

  4. I don’t disagree with a lot of the above.

    hand gun ownership is generally illegal in Greece and it’s more likely than not that the hand gun did not have a proper license. tbd

    ironically ND lead to the rise of XA and is merely pandering for show by trying to play tough with them

    don’t forget fyssas was killed by an XA supporter, no matter how hard you try to throw one of your own under the bus. 2 wrongs don’t obviously make a right

    “Golden Dawn was formed in 1985, & since then not a single member of Golden Dawn has been convicted of murder.” this is simply not true at all. among others. they can deny all they want (probably taken from a page out of the XA book right next to the one where you throw your members under the bus) but they ARE XA

  5. “A few alleged scuffles, and street fights by low level alleged GD supporters”

    the list includes XA MPs

    regardless i tend to lean that this IS a witch hunt