The head of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights, Giorgos Stavropoulos, handed in his resignation Thursday, accusing the government of attempting to alter the balance in the composition of the GNCHR’s committee.
In his letter of resignation, Stavropoulos, who served as a senior judicial official on the Council of State for more than three decades, criticized the provisions of a draft bill tabled in Parliament by the government whereby five members from the LGBTQI community and two more members from the Roma community were added to the body’s board.
Stavropoulos said the provision violates “any principle of equality.”
“The excessively favorable treatment for [LGBTQI and Roma] at the expense of all other defenders of human rights insults the latter, but also undermines the authority of the Commission itself, uncritically altering its composition and affecting its independence,” he added.
The GNCHR is an advisory body to the Greek state on matters pertaining to human rights protection.
Stavropoulos rued that the committee was not given the respect it deserves as an independent authority with a significant track record, and took a swipe at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for never bothering to meet with the committee’s leadership even though it is by law subject to him.
“I’m sorry to say that the country’s prime minister... never found the time in recent years for a briefing from the committee’s presidency on the state of human rights in the country and the committee’s problems or even to personally receive its annual report,” Stavropoulos said.