NEWS

Leaked Council of Europe report suggests Greece could ban Golden Dawn

Greece has adequate legal grounds to outlaw Golden Dawn or any other political organization found to be engaging in racially motivated crimes, Europe’s human rights watchdog suggests in a leaked report set to be formally released on Tuesday.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, compiled the report following his visit to Greece between January 28 and February 1.

Sources said the report links several incidents of racist violence and hate crimes to supporters, members and deputies of Golden Dawn, which is described in the document as a “neo-Nazi party.”

It makes clear that legally binding treaties such as the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which have been ratified by Greece, give local authorities the right to curb or sanction individuals who support or engage in hate crimes.

Such action is also within the powers of existing Greek legislation, it says.

Greek government officials have reportedly responded to the Council of Europe recommendations. In a note attached to the report, authorities say that parties voted into Parliament are covered by the Constitution. Golden Dawn, which currently polls at around 11 percent, was approved by the country’s Supreme Court before running for power.

In February Muiznieks called on Greece to do more to tackle offenses committed by Golden Dawn and its members, as well as apparent links between the far-right party and the police. The Latvian official also recommended that the government set up an independent body to investigate claims of police brutality.

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