General Assembly of the International Human Rights Movement 'World Without Nazism'Strasbourg, 9/10/12 - Opening Session: Shpigel B. I. (chairman of the International WWN), Kravchuk L. (former president of Ukraine, chairman of Ukraine WWN), Voronin V. (Moldovian MP, 3rd president of the Republic), Goroya E. (Greek Helsinki Monitor), Cvetkova I. (Latvian MP), Bondik V. (member of the Supreme Council of Ukraine), Monrose G. (Pastor, USA), Father Sup. Philip (rep. of the Russian Orthodox Church), Bogdanov V. (chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists), Kapinsky A. (Polish MP), Bishop Lazar (rep. of the Estonian Church), Srulevich A. (Director of the European Department of the US Anti-Defamation league).
Eliza Goroya, Greek Helsinki Monitor
a representative of Vladimir Putin had read his letter of support to
joy of listening Putin's comments on intolerance.Where
does irony end and involuntary self-parody begins? Closing
this parenthesis, my name is Eliza Goroya and I am representing the
Greek Helsinki Monitor where I work as an advocate for freedom of
speech and freedom of—and from—religion.
assume you've heard the news (about Greece).But
how did we get here?
is a country where racist attitudes and intolerance towards national,
ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and other minorities is
widespread in society including state and judicial authorities while
fight against—and especially punishment for—racism and
intolerance is almost totally absent.
characteristically, just a few days ago, the Minister of Justice
informed the Parliament that there have been only a few prosecutions
with the anti-racism law 927/79 (in effect all of them—about
half-a-dozen- resulted from the some 50 GHM related complaints—no
one else has filed such complaints), while the invocation of the
racist motive as an aggravating circumstance as well as of the
anti-discrimination law 3304/2005 in courts is non-existent.
the contrary, the acquittal of notorious neo-Nazi Costas Plevris in
his trial for his 1400-page—anti-Semitic, among others—book, even
by a majority of Supreme Court judges (not in the name of freedom of
expression but because his book was not considered racist!), has
shown that even extreme racist views are shared by the majority of
even top judges.
such a climate, in 2000 was founded an extreme right party with
racist views named 'LAOS' which quickly won seats in the EP (in 2004
and 2009) and in the National Parliament (in 2007 and 2009). It was
immediately treated as a mainstream party by all media and parties
and that allowed it to even join the government in 2011-2012.
2012, two more extreme right parties, Independent Greeks and Golden
Dawn outscored LAOS and entered the National Parliament. All three
parties got above 20% in May 2012 and above 15% in June 2012, with an
estimate of more than 25% of the voters having voted for these three
parties at least once.
Dawn is not an 'average' extreme right party but an outright neo-Nazi
party with a violent militant membership that is held responsible for
a series of violent attacks mostly against immigrants. The only other
comparable parliamentary party in Europe is Jobbik in Hungary. This
is not accidental: in all Euro-barometers, the highest percentage of
people who express xenophobic views (e.g. 'expel all migrants') are
found in Greece and Hungary. Human rights activists (including GHM)
have pointed out that all three extreme right parties, including
Golden Dawn, are treated as mainstream parties: for example almost
all TV channels award them time equivalent to their percentage if not
more, usually uncritically. As a contrast, NGOs are almost absent
from TV stations.
while Golden Dawn is increasingly assuming the role of law
enforcement officers on the streets of Greece, polls show that it is
all done with the support of the police as 50% of the police officers
vote for them.
Golden Dawn becomes more and more de-marginalised, religious leaders
are publicly expressing their support towards them; it seems that the
Greek Orthodox Church and the far-right are developing a sinister
co-dependency as they share the same 'hate agenda'. As far as the
official state religion is inextricably connected with the national
identity as a cine-qua-non the enemy is common:
non-Christians and—let's not forget the pink triangle, or, the pink
elephant in the room—L.G.B.T.
'hate speech' is not illegal, anti-blasphemy laws have become more
severe resulting in a bitter blow against freedom of speech.
short, everyone who is not Greek/white, Christian and heterosexual is
cannot allow this to continue and climax.
this cannot be dealt with on a local level, it is of paramount
importance that we work collectively and pro-actively and stop this
do it today.
do it yesterday.