The trial of three people for the September 2011 assault on an Afghan asylum seeker in Athens is a sobering reminder of increasing racist violence in Greece, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial, scheduled to begin on December 12, is the first of its kind since 1999 even though racist violence in Athens has increased over the last two or three years, reaching alarming proportions in 2011.
In the current trial, two men and one woman are accused of brutally beating and stabbing Ali Rahimi, a 24-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, in Athens on September 16. Rahimi and two other Afghans say the accused were part of a larger group of about 15 people who surrounded them in the Aghios Panteleimonas neighborhood in the city center.
Also… from the Athens News
Draft bill against racismA DRAFT bill against racism, and racist attacks in particular, was tabled in parliament on December 5. The proposed law suggest fines ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 euros and prison sentences of six months to three years for anyone who incites, provokes or urges others to commit violence or hate crimes against people or objects based on racial, genetic or other characteristics, such as colour, creed or ethnicity. It also includes penal sanctions in cases where these actions result in a crime being committed, ranging from a minimum jail sentence of one year and fines ranging from 6,000 to 20,000 euros. Additionally, those participating in any organisation that systematically promotes racist actions would face up to two years’ jail.