NGOs urge new justice minister to proceed with anti-racism law

Greece’s new justice minister needs to focus on drawing up new anti-racism legislation, the Racist Violence Recording Network, a collection of 30 nongovernmental organizations initiated two years ago by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), said in a statement.

The anti-racism law was a source of friction in the coalition government recently, with New Democracy arguing that new legislation was not needed.

Greece’s newly-appointed Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said last week that the anti-racism legislation was not a priority.

“The matter will progress and the differences will be overcome,” he said.

The NGOs argued that Athanasiou needs to focus on protecting victims and witnesses of racist violence and create legislation that treats racist attacks as distinct crimes.

The Racist Violence Recording Network registered 154 racist attacks last year.

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