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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Amnesty blasts Greece

Should a goverment be more concerned with protecting illegal immigrants than stopping them and the traders who deal in their suffering? I know there's a grey area in Greece and undoubtedly there have been events which should not have occured but the description of what has happened is not that out of character for any nation protecting its borders. The Greek government has stated that it is completely opposed to violating human rights. A similar statement from the evil traders in illegal immigrants is obviously not forthcoming. Amnesty International also claim

"Most often, their tormentors are representatives of the state."
Which is some claim. But apart from descriptions of failure of the Greek authorities to provide access to the asylum process there doesn't seem to be much evidence for any human rights abuses. Again, Amnesty International claims,

"Some are shot and killed on the border, others are charged with 'illegal entry' straight away and detained without having the chance to apply for refugee protection. The conditions of detention in particular areas of the country do not adhere to international law and standards."
Aren't all those things within a nations right. If people are entering the country by illegal means then the state has a right to protect itself. If a nation does not want to grant asylum to certain nationalities it is fully within its rights. If a nation drops below 'the required standard' it joins a long list. Picking on Greece in this way and with this language makes the treatment of migrants, asylum seekers and foreigners in nations where they are being oppressed and killed in greater numbers seem more distant.

Comments on "Amnesty blasts Greece"

 

Blogger deviousdiva said ... (2:26 PM) : 

No. I do not believe that it is within a "nations right" to keep people in containers without hot water, where children are held alongside adults, where there is documented evidence of physical and sexual abuse, where people have been shot and killed on the borders. As I am always saying on my blog. Nations have the right to have immigration laws but when those laws violate human rights THAT is a different issue. No-one has said you must accept all migrants but they must be treated humanely. There is a long way to go in other nations too but that doesn't let Greece off the hook. This is a European country. It should start behaving like one.

 

Blogger Dave said ... (4:48 PM) : 

If you'd bothered to read my comment. You'd have noticed I said that they were perfectly within their rights to defend their borders, detention without the chance offer of refugee status and means of detention. The conditions and methods that you make reference to I dealt with here.

there have been events which should not have occured but the description of what has happened is not that out of character for any nation protecting its borders

Making Greece to out to be the bad boy of Europe is wrong. Britain has dealt with refugees in the same way (if not worse if you look at the new detention centres), so have the French (they've shot quite a few) and so have the Spaniards (squalid is the best description of their detention centres). These issues need to be addressed, but Amnesty International's hypocritical stance is more likely to antagonise and harden the Greek governments position on illegal immigrants.

Amnesty International claims the State are tormentors of illegal immigrants. This is a misguided, offensive and ridiculous statement. Much like your mention of sexual abuse of children.

As for people being shot at the border while crossing it illegaly (ask the Americans). That IS within the right of any nation to protect it's borders.

 

Blogger deviousdiva said ... (6:29 AM) : 

Actually, I did read your comment and I was referring to this part when I say that these are NOT a nations right.

"Some are shot and killed on the border, others are charged with 'illegal entry' straight away and detained without having the chance to apply for refugee protection. The conditions of detention in particular areas of the country do not adhere to international law and standards."

Aren't all those things within a nations right.

That is what you wrote. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by it but that's how it came accross to me reading it.

"If you'd bothered to read my comment"
I don't think this attitude was called for. I was responding to what I read not attacking you.

As for making Greece out to be the bad boy of Europe, this is not the case. We know there are other places where people are treated appallingly but this does not make it alright for Greece or anyone to do the same.

"As for people being shot at the border while crossing it illegaly (ask the Americans). That IS within the right of any nation to protect it's borders."

In response to your statement above, I believe you have to declare war on a nation for this to be the case. Yes. A nation has the right to protect it's borders but shooting people? No.

 

Blogger Dave said ... (3:14 PM) : 

If that was the case then there'd be no reason to arm border guards and security personnel. If they decide that someone crossing the border illegaly, is a threat to national security they have every right to shoot them. I would expect the Greeks to be especially nervous considering they border Albania and Macedonia.

The Amnesty International report was a hatchet job. It was one sided, poorly executed and used highly inflamatory language. As I say in the original post, Greece has to improve...but a report like this doesn't help. It merely makes their position more difficult to reverse.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:12 PM) : 

Frankly everything Amenesty is accusing Greece of doing it has accused the US of doing. Have you ever read its reports about US immigration and border cotrol policies.

Especially ironic is one commentor saying:
keep people in containers without hot water, where children are held alongside adults, where there is documented evidence of physical and sexual abuse, where people have been shot and killed on the borders.

whcih of these behaviours has Amnesty not accused the US government of doing? none.

People pull these amenesty articles to slam one country or another. If you compare Greece to the US in Amnesty's reports it is the US that is accused of much worse.

Greece is an outer border of the EU. they get way more immigrants and have way less resources. Look at Spain and the shootings and they have less coastline, less land border with poor countries and more cops/border control resources yet they have an attrocious record.

The human rights situation in Greece is no worse than any EU country.

 

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