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  1. General recommendations for the accession to international agreements and conventions.

  • In order to overcome ethnic tensions, Greece needs to reconsider its unificationist approach to its national and linguistic policies. To this end, it is recommended to accede to the fundamental international agreements aimed at ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities and to ratify the documents already signed. These are the ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Furthermore, in order to align its migration legislation with migration norms, Greece should accede to the "European Convention on Nationality" of 1997 and the "European Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level" of 1992.
  • Considering that the definition of torture contained in Article 137A(5) of the Criminal Code is identical to the definition contained in the previous version of Article 137A(2) and as such does not cover all the elements required by Article 1(1), the competent State authorities should take the necessary steps to ensure that the definition of torture contained in Article 137A(5) of the Criminal Code fully complies with the standards of international conventions.
  • The ECtHR found in its case law that Greece violated Article 5 (4) of the ECHR for failing to comply with the requirement for a speedy examination of the applicant's application for a replacement measure of temporary detention (the time limit of three (3) months and eight (8) days does not comply with the "reasonable time" requirement referred to in Article 5 (4) of the ECHR). The above demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the human right to liberty. In light of the above, the competent public authorities should take the necessary steps to ensure that pre-trial detention is used in practice only as an exceptional measure, as necessary and proportionate, and in accordance with the presumption of innocence and the right to liberty. Its use should only be acceptable as a measure of last resort in very limited circumstances.

      2. General recommendations for adjustments to the legal framework.

    • After joining international agreements, Greece should bring its national legislation in line with it as well, primarily by passing laws to protect the rights of national minorities and reviewing its migration legislation, primarily by amending the 2012 immigration law No. 3838/10, which legalized inequality in the exercise of voting rights of foreign citizens in local elections based on ethnic origin. Greece should also remove all reservations to the procedure for granting citizenship to foreign nationals legally present in the country. Greece should also bring its legislation in line with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, as well as the Additional Protocol on the criminalization of racist and xenophobic acts.
    • Effective legislation on the protection of human rights defenders must be adopted.
    • Special measures for the safety of victims (entry/exit from courts and prosecutors' offices, keeping victims at a safe distance from the accused, etc.) should be ensured by legislation.
    • It is necessary to ensure by law the right to a lawyer, an interpreter (if necessary), and the right to a telephone call for all detainees from the very beginning of their deprivation of liberty.
    • Amend national legislation to outlaw organizations that promote racial discrimination.

      3. General recommendations for the executive bodies in the field of enforcement of law and human rights.

    • In light of the nature of racist incidents, it is evident that Greece needs appropriate citizen information programs, as well as special integration programs for refugees.
    • There is also a need to introduce training programs in the field of security and justice forces, for staff working in departments and offices against racist violence, and for Greek police officers in general.
    • In light of the documented episodes of discrimination against Roma and immigrant children in the school community, the organization of discussions, the creation of procedures for conflict resolution with the participation of the student, information and public awareness programs on the situation in this area are strongly recommended.
    • An information campaign for public sector employees on the specific characteristics and needs of persons belonging to different groups is necessary.

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