NEWS

Justice Ministry setting up working group for human rights

The Justice Ministry's Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights is to set up a working group tasked with designing a national plan for assessing the country's conformity to international human rights standards with a focus on the state's response to the rising number of racially motivated attacks, for which Greece has drawn harsh criticism from international rights groups.

"The task of the working group will be to make a comprehensive evaluation of the level of protection of human rights in our country, as well as to design and develop actions and initiatives needed to further defend and promote human rights," Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis said in a document addressed to Parliament on Tuesday.

Roupakiotis added that the team will work in tandem with international rights groups, taking in their recommendations for and evaluations of actions to safeguard individuals from hate crimes.

Roupakiotis said that deputy first instance prosecutor Nikolaos Ornerakis has been appointed special prosecutor for cases relating to hate crimes, adding that the ministry is exploring ways to take the onus of reporting race attacks and initiating legal proceedings against perpetrators off the victims, who are often either not in a position or hesitate to report criminal actions against them to law enforcement authorities.

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