Greece: Golden Dawn verdict sends a clear message against the politics of demonization across Europe  

A court in Athens has convicted seven leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn party of being responsible for directing a criminal organization, and convicted 11 other former Members of Parliament of participating in a criminal organization. Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks, said:

“This verdict sends a clear message to political groups with aggressive anti-migrant and anti-human rights agendas in Greece and across Europe that violent and racist criminal activity – whether perpetrated by individuals on the street or members of parliament, will not go unpunished.

This verdict sends a clear message to political groups – whether perpetrated by individuals on the street or members of parliament - will not go unpunished.
Amnesty International

“Golden Dawn’s activities exposed a fissure that exists not just within Greek society but across Europe and beyond. Today’s landmark ruling is a recognition of the systemic threat posed to our societies by a violent, racist group and a commitment that this threat must not be allowed to continue.

We hope this judgement will mark a turning point to deter racist violence and hate crimes in the future
Amnesty International

“Today’ verdict is the first step to deliver justice for the victims of hate crimes and discriminatory attacks and must serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of demonizing and scapegoating entire populations. We hope this judgement will mark a turning point to deter racist violence and hate crimes in the future." 

Background

Seven years after the murder of anti-fascist singer Pavlos Fyssas in Keratsini, and five and a half years after the beginning of the Golden Dawn trial, a three-member court in Athens issued today a landmark verdict.

The ruling found the seven members of Golden Dawn’s political council, including its leader Nikos Michaloliakos, guilty of directing a criminal organization. The Court also found guilty for participating in a criminal organization 11 former Golden Dawn MPs

The court also found Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias guilty for the murder of anti-fascist singer Pavlos Fyssas and nine other defendants guilty for being accessories to murder. The court also found  three defendants guilty for the attempted murder of Egyptian fisherman Abouzid Embarak and four defendants guilty for grievous bodily harm against three members of the PAME trade union.

Amnesty International observers were present in the court today and witnessed riot police making indiscriminate use of tear gas against thousands of peaceful demonstrators gathered outside the Athens Appeals Court.