Amnesty Pans Greece’s Treatment of Migrants

3 April 2014

The murder by police of an Albanian prison inmate highlights a culture of impunity, racism, violence and ill-treatment of migrants in Greece, a new Amnesty International report says.

Besar Likmeta BIRN Tirana

At the end of March, police at Nigrita Prison, in northern Greece, reportedly beat to death Ilia Kareli, an Albanian inmate held in solitary confinement.

The autopsy revealed that he was extensively beaten on the soles of his feet and his chest, and had burns on his hands.

The death has provoked public outrage in Albania and Tirana has called on Greek authorities to investigate the murder.

Kareli’s death is one of a number of cases highlighted by Amnesty International in “A law unto themselves: A culture of abuse and impunity in the Greek police”.

The report exposes shocking human rights violations by Greek law enforcement officials.

“There is an urgent need for a comprehensive structural reform of law enforcement including the creation of an independent police complaint mechanism to investigate allegations of unlawful police conduct,” Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director at Amnesty International, said.

“The Greek authorities must restore public confidence in Greek law enforcement structures,” Tigani added.

According to Tigani, Greek police have been used as a tool by the authorities and instead of maintaining law and order, have often been tasked with stifling dissent and persecuting members of vulnerable groups.

“Their actions have been left without independent scrutiny and their transgressions unpunished, Tigani said. “This has to change,” he concluded.

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