Cases Developement
15 March 2007 Forced Evictions, Discrimination Continue

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) together with the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) denounce the continuing discrimination against Roma in Greece and the anti-Roma statement by a Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor and call for the immediate implementation.

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), a member of its network, of the continuing discrimination against Roma in Greece, the serious violations of their economic, social and cultural rights and of the recently reported anti-Roma statement of a Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor. The recent visit of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights confirms once again the facts relating to the illegal and unlawful evictions of Roma from their homes. OMCT and GHM call for immediate remedial action on the part of Greek authorities including the implementation of the recommendations of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Anti-Roma statement by a Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor

Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor Athanassios Kanellopoulos, in an interview in a weekly newspaper published on 2 February 2007, reportedly made anti-Roma statements in connection with last year?s evictions of Roma from their homes in the city of Patras. He is reported to have said ?In my opinion, Patras should not be condemned to experience all these problems. Patras should not be turned into a gyp-town?.

As previously reported by OMCT and GHM, Patras has been the scene of the forced eviction of numerous Roma families without the provision of alternative housing, despite the fact that, according to Greek and international laws, evictions cannot be carried out without alternative accommodation being offered. (OMCT press communiqu? of 31 October 2006 annexed). Mr. Athanassios Kanellopoulos was at the time of the evictions the Chief Appeals Prosecutor of Patras and in the newspaper interview he tried to justify the illegal evictions of 2006 for which he appeared to take credit.

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