Stop Racist Police Violence and Immigrant Abuse in Greece

Target: Nerantzis Anastasios, of Greece’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR)

Goal: Fight police racism and violence against suspected illegal immigrants in Greece.

In an overzealous response to mass immigration, the Grecian government and police force have been abusing the deluge of immigrants flowing through the country. Completely disregarding human rights with severe anti-immigration initiatives, police and other enforcers constantly engage in racism and violence not only towards immigrants, but towards innocent foreigners as well. Call on Greece’s National Commission for Human Rights to control its police force and end the hate crime epidemic sweeping the country.

As an entry point to Europe for the Middle Eastern and African refugees, Greece has for the past decade seen a huge influx of immigrants. As a result, Greece’s asylum system is dangerously backed up, and as much as 10 percent of the national population is thought to be made up of expatriates. The government response – an anti-immigration initiative named Xenios Zeus – has included large scale sweeps for illegals and mass deportations, few of which proceed legally and many of which result in human rights violations. Meanwhile, the police have become infamous for racial profiling, unwarranted detainment, harassment, and frequent beatings of “suspected” illegal immigrants.

One of these suspects was Hyun Young Jung, a Korean tourist. After being stopped by police and showing them a valid passport, Jung was punched in the face. After two officers beat him to the ground and kicked him repeatedly, he was brought to a police station and beaten again in a stairwell where there were no cameras or witnesses. After being detained with a number of migrants from Africa and Asia that had been rounded up as part of the Xenios Zeus program, he was released without being cited for any crime. Similar stories abound from all over the country.

Greece has been warned by many agencies including Human Rights Watch and the Council of Europe to reign in their police force and punish wrongdoers, but the desired changes must come from within. The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) is a social justice organization centered in Greece. NCHR frequently consults with the Greek Government and has members on Grecian governmental committees, one of whom is Nerantzis Anastasios.

As an NCHR member and chairman of the Greek government’s Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency, Anastasios is one of the few people with the motivation and ability to improve the situation. Sign this petition and urge Anastasios to provide human rights police training and crack down on the racism and immigrant abuse in Greece.


Dear Chairman Anastasios,

The behavior of the Greek police force in regards to Greece’s immigration problem is totally unacceptable. Officers are detaining legal immigrants, beating tourists, arresting visitors with valid passports, and engaging in racist violence. Greece does have a right to refuse immigrants and deal with illegals in the country, but completely disregarding human rights is not the way to do it.

Xenios Zeus has spun out of control and has resulted in countless human rights violations since it’s enactment. If the program is not altered or stopped, Greek police are at least in need of human rights training, stricter regulation of police activity, and punishment for racism or brutalization of any individual.

As a member of the National Commission for Human Rights and chairman of the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency, you have the power to make these changes. I urge you to use your position in the Greek government to initialize a crackdown on the immigrant abuse and police violence sweeping the country.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Tactical Technology Collective via Flickr

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