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Greek Helsinki Monitor under criminal investigation for denouncing anti-Semitic articles

(GHM/IFEX) - GHM is under criminal investigation following a complaint filed by a neo-Nazi who was convicted following a GHM complaint.

GMH along with other organisations such as the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Anti-Nazi Initiative filed a series of complaints beginning on 30 October 2006 regarding anti-Semitic articles published on 27 October 2006 and a book entitled "The Jews - the whole truth" published in May 2006 by Kostas Plevris.

Panayote Dimitras, the GHM's spokesperson, testified during the trial of Plevris on 4 December 2007, and as a result has been the victim of acts of intimidation, verbal violence, and attempt to physical violence.

As a direct consequence of its complaint against Plevris, the GHM is now under criminal investigation for allegedly posing a threat to national security, public safety, and public order and/or for jeopardising Greece's international relations.

Following the investigation undertaken against the GHM, its legal affiliation as an international NGO could be withdrawn by Greek authorities.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) is deeply concerned by this investigation, as this could seriously jeopardise the legal existence of the GHM and presents an important threat to the exercise of its right to freedom of association and expression. The EMHRN questions the legitimacy of this investigation, which lacks a solid basis and a list of offences that could incriminate the GHM, and which rather seems to target GHM's core activities and integrity.

The EMHRN strongly condemns all violations of freedom of association and expression, as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.

Therefore, the EMHRN calls upon the Greek authorities to:
a. immediately cease the arbitrary investigation against the Greek Helsinki Monitor
b. enable the Greek Helsinki Monitor to carry on its activities in the field of human rights and ensure that its legal status will not be withdrawn
c. commit themselves to creating good working conditions for human rights associations that monitor human rights and implement human rights activities in Greece.

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