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Stop the smear campaign against human rights defenders in Greece

Athens, 2nd   June 2023

Despite the growing outcry inside and outside Greece, at every level, from the civil society to the Council of Europe and the UN, Greece not only does not withdraw the baseless charges against the human rights defender PanayoteDimitras, but also freezes his assets and those of the NGOs he heads, with the vague allegation of mismanagement of European and other funds that supported his work.

The smear campaign against PanayoteDimitras has been repeatedly denounced by both the Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe and the UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders and on the Human Rights of Migrants.

Despite this, Greece is escalating its revengeful targeting of PanayoteDimitras, who has denounced numerous pushbacks, even though recent reports confirm these inhumane practices, forcing the Prime Minister himself to condemn them for the first time.

Although we expected from the competent bodies and institutions, as well as from the judiciary the investigation of all the complaints that have come to light, on the contrary, we are witnessing accusations against those persons and organizations that are active on the borders of the country and receive reports and testimonies for pushbacks against refugees and immigrants, which, as they should, publicize and bring to the attention of the competent authorities.

In this context, the organizations that co-sign this announcement demand:

• To stop the prosecution of those persons and organizations operating in the context of their role as human rights defenders, against violations even by state authorities and institutions.

• To stop the systematic propaganda and disinformation against persons and organizations that provide protection to asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable persons in general.

• To promote the investigation of all complaints that have been brought to the attention of the competent authorities and concern incidents of illegal redeployments.

• To stop the phenomenon of violations of fundamental human rights that are systematically carried out at the borders of Greece, as well as Europe.

We remain firmly on the side of those who defend human rights and in particular refugees and immigrants.

CO-SIGNATORIES (in alphabetical order)

Advocates Abroad (

ADIP  Anatolıan Religions and Beliefs Platform  (

Antigone (

ARSIS Association for the Social Support of Youth – ATHENS (http:/

Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors (

Association Positive Voice (

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (

Centre for peace studies (

Chios Solidarity (

Demos (

Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (

Equal Rights Beyond Borders (

EuroMed Rights (

European LGBT Police Association (

Fair Trials (

ForRefugees  (

Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe  (

Free Humanitarians (

Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (

Greek Council for Refugees (

Greek Forum of Migrants (

Greek Forum of Refugees (

Greek Helsinki Monitor (

Greek Housing Netwoerk(

Hellenic Action for Human Rights  “Pleiades”  (

Hellenic League for Human Rights (


Human Rights Association -Turkey  (

Hungarian Helsinki Committee (

Initiative of Lawyers and Jurists for democratic rights (

In-Sight Collaborative (

Institute of Race Relations (

International Network Against Cyber Hate (

Irídia-Center of Defense of Human Rights  (

Ithaca Laundry Mobile laundry unit for the homeless (

Justice & Environment (

KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (

Legal Centre Lesvos (

LOVE-Storm – Together against Online Hate – Germany (

Network of Social Support for Refugees and Migrants (

NEVER AGAIN’ Association (

Police Action for Human Rights  (

Race Relations (

Refugee Biriyani & Bananas (

Refugee Support Aegean(RSA) (

 Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) (

SCI-Hellas (

“To Mov” Panhellenic Women Rights Association (http:/

Transgender Support Association (

World without Wars and Violence (

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