On March 7, 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced that 13 lawsuits had been filed against Greece alleging unlawful police violence and the torture of 13 prisoners in Nigrita prison.
According to a report by the Manifold news team in Solomon, the 13 detainees, of Greek, Georgian and Armenian nationality, claim that in May 2020 they were brutally beaten by police during a search of their cells for unauthorized and illegal items. Shortly afterwards, they claim that the police officers used tear gas against them while they were locked in their cells, and then dragged them to the corridor, where they were again brutally beaten.
These cases come in addition to an earlier case filed in March 2021 concerning an incident that took place on October 8, 2016, when according to the allegations three Greek citizens from the Roma community were brutally beaten by police officers during their arrest and subsequent detention in the police station. One of them ended up in the intensive care unit as a result of their treatment. They claim that their torture was motivated by racism.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) prohibits torture, providing in Article 3 that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
At a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for Monitoring Decisions of the ECtHR, the Greek ECtHR judge Ioannis Ktistakis presented evidence that Greece, with 2,214 cases pending against them, is in the top ten countries of the Council of Europe with the greatest number of pending cases before the Court. Between 1991 and 2021 the country has been found guilty in 984 cases and has been acquitted in just 44, while it has paid about 28.2 million euros in compensation.
Although torture is prohibited by the the ECHR, which was adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe in 1950 to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, in just one year fourteen cases have been lodged with the ECtHR alleging unlawful violence and torture by police authorities.
The allegations could lead to Greece being condemned yet again for human rights abuses, and bring into question the state’s protection of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the ECHR.
Bank Account number: 1100 0232 0016 560
IBAN: GR56 0140 1100 1100 0232 0016 560
In a time where the very foundations of democracy are gradually being eroded by the rise of extreme nationalism, alt-right movements, the spread of disinformation and corporate capture, the efforts of organisations such as Vouliwatch are more relevant than ever.
We rely on the generosity of each and every one of you to continue with our efforts for more transparency and accounta
By financially supporting Vouliwatch you support our litigation strategy, our campaigns for transparency and accountability in the political system, the development of new civic tech tools, our research projects and last but not least our impartial and accurate