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Greece Human Rights

Workers' rights

In June, the judge in charge of investigating the attack against trade unionist Konstantina Kuneva concluded the investigation, having failed to identify the perpetrators. Concerns were expressed by her lawyers over the quality and thoroughness of the pre-trial investigation. In November, the Council of Misdemeanours in Athens ordered the continuation of the investigation into the case.

Prison conditions

Reports were received of inhuman and degrading conditions of detention in prisons, including overcrowding, inadequate facilities and lack of access to adequate medical care. Women prisoners reported that they continued to be subjected to the practice of internal examinations. In December, legislative amendments were adopted to deal with prison overcrowding and the improvement of prison conditions.

Conscientious objectors to military service

The current law on conscientious objection was still not in line with European and international standards. Conscientious objectors continued to face discrimination and even prosecution.

On 31 March, conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis was given a suspended sentence of 18 months' imprisonment on two charges of insubordination by the Athens Military Court of Appeal. In 2008, the Court of First Instance had sentenced him to three years' imprisonment on the same charges.

Freedom of expression

A report in February by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns about the over-restrictive practices of Greek courts in failing to register certain minority associations, and ordering the dissolution of the Xanthi Turkish Union. Similar concerns were expressed by the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues. Despite these, and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in 2008, the Supreme Court of Greece upheld the refusal of the Court of Appeal to register the association "House of Macedonian Civilization" in June.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

In March, several people were injured in a homophobic attack on a bar in Athens. It was reported that police and ambulances did not respond to the incident, despite many calls.

Trafficking in human beings

Amid concerns that the government had taken insufficient action to identify victims of trafficking, draft guidelines proposed by a coalition of NGOs, including Amnesty International, were still not adopted. Lack of state funding led to the closure of some shelters for victims of trafficking.

Greece Newsroom



December 1, 2021 • Press Release

Asylum Seekers Being Illegally Detained in New EU-Funded Camp in Greece

Asylum-seekers staying in a new EU-funded refugee camp on the island of Samos are being detained illegally by Greek authorities following a yet unpublished decision from the Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, based on information received by Amnesty International.

October 4, 2018 • Report

Greece: Refugee women speak out against violence, dangerous conditions and official neglect

Women fleeing war and conflict are coming together to fight against horrific abuses, including sexual violence, and to demand a better life in Europe, Amnesty International reveals in a new …

September 22, 2016 • Report

European paralysis forces tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to live in appalling conditions

One year on from promises to relocate over 66,000 asylum-seekers from Greece, just 6% relocated A year after EU leaders agreed on an emergency relocation scheme to share responsibility for …

April 15, 2016 • Report

Greece: Europe must shoulder the burden for 46,000 refugees and migrants trapped in squalor

With all eyes focused on the implementation of the recently agreed EU-Turkey deal, the plight of more than 46,000 refugees and migrants stuck in squalid conditions across mainland Greece, is in danger of being forgotten, said Amnesty International in a report released today.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

September 2, 2015 • Report

Use of Force – Guidelines for Implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law enforcement officials

From the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to the favelas of Brazil, the police use of force and firearms makes global headlines when it turns fatal.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

July 10, 2013 • Report

Frontier Europe: Human Rights Abuses on Greece’s Border with Turkey

The external frontier of the EU between Turkey and Greece is made up of a 203km land border in the Evros region in the North and a sea border on the Aegean in the South. This border has long been one of the main entry routes for migrants and refugees trying to find safety or a better life in Europe. In 2012, it saw the largest number of irregular entries to the EU out of all the EU's external borders.2 A large number of those arriving are from conflict torn countries like Afghanistan and Syria. Research by Amnesty International has found instances of shocking human rights violations against them by the Greek authorities.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Greece 2013

HELLENIC REPUBLIC Head of state Karolos Papoulias Head of government Antonis Samaras (replaced Panagiotis Pikrammenos) Allegations of human rights abuses by police, including torture and excessive use of force continued …

December 20, 2012 • Report

Greece: The End of the Road for Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants

Every year, tens of thousands of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers cross the Greek border in search of shelter, refuge or just a better life within the European Union. Few of …