PETITION: LEGAL PART
May 14, 1998
To The Ministry of Justice Athens
Of the Non-Governmental Organization "Anti-Nazi Initiative" regarding
the adoption of appropriate legislative and administrative measures for the
prohibition of the establishment and function of Nazi and racist organizations
in our country in compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by our country with the Presidential
Decree 494/1970. We especially and specifically refer to the Nazi organization
"Chrysi Avgi" that functions legally and participates in the elections.
The Anti-Nazi Initiative is a non-governmental organization which was formed in June 1997 by democratic people who share a common ideological position, they are anti-Nazi. The purpose of Anti-Nazi Initiative is to combat the phenomenon of Nazism in our country. Its formation was the result of the deep concern of its members about the phenomena of racism, and mainly ethno-racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance, which are present in Greek society. This concern has become more intense by the expansion of the activities of the Nazi organization "Chrysi Avgi". These activities include the dissemination of propagandistic material openly in favor of Hitlerism, racism and anti-Semitism, as well as, the perpetration of a series of attacks against foreigners, members of anti-nationalist organizations and young people whose appearance indicates democratic attitude.
The activities and function of the Nazi and racist organizations, like "Chrysi Avgi", is contrary to the principles of the democratic constitution of our country. The activity and propaganda of this organization has violated and is violating the constitutionally endorsed individual rights of foreigners living in our country, of Greek citizens who are members of national minorities, as well as of Greek citizens in general.
We refer to racist, anti - Semitic and pro-Hitler declarations of the organization published in the official printed material of "Chrysi Avgi", that is, the weekly newspaper and the monthly magazine. In particular:
Newspaper titled "Chrysi Avgi", May 5, 1995, from article about the anniversary for the great anti-fascist victory of peoples against Hitler: "We are sorry that this newspaper has nothing to celebrate on May 8. On the contrary, considering today's situation of the world, considering the decay, the hypocrisy, the beastly consuming mania, and the intellectual devastation prevailing everywhere, it wonders about the Truth of the repeated tale that the good guys won in the last war".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 67, page 32-26. Article titled: "The Zionists Poison on the Screen": "The end of Second World War which came with the defeat of the European Forces, finds the Jew tyrant, dominant and powerful. The development of technical means make cinema powerful weapon of political propaganda… Films for every taste and any intellectual level, provided that they slander the Third Reich and all of the values upon which it grew and which it defended until the final fall (Honor, Bravery, Morality, Faith, Patriotism, Racial Purity, Motherhood, Family). …The myth taboo of our times, the "Holocaust", is dealt with general distrust, the official view for the Second World War undergoes the test of doubt and those who were yesterday "war criminals", "insane dictators", gain sympathies - a last year's gallop in France about Hitler's popularity is indicative".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 68, 20/1/1992, page 7-13. Article titled: "To the Unknown Hero", where they extol as "patriot-fighter", Sevastianos Fulidis, a Greek collaborator of Germans Nazi and their spy in Greece, coming from the former Soviet territories in the Black Sea, major of the SS, of the "European Army", as "C. A." call them: "Fulidis was above all a conscious Greek national-socialist, heart and soul devoted to the Great Struggle against communist tyranny. He was not just an opportunist, an arriviste mercenary ready to escape at the first difficulties. He knew that with his activities, he served Europe, Germany, but above all Greece…", where at the Second World War, collaboration with the Nazis is suggested as a "patriotic attitude".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 68, 20/1/1992, page 16-17. Article titled: "Racism now, for the Fatherland and the People!". "As National Socialists we are interested for the rights, achievements, and demands of the Greek worker, but first of all we view the matter from the racial aspect. We do not just confine ourselves to the economic field and to the subject of labor, because the fundamental issue for us is that foreign workers with their presence in our Fatherland represent a danger for our racial purity. Our society, our civilization, our evolution in the Future, derives from the unique special attributes inherited from our ancestors. The inexhaustible river of Greek Blood breeds this indissoluble band of blood with History. …No Asian or African has either understood, or will understand our civilization, he has not fought, and he will not fight for our rights, he has not hated or will hate our enemies. How can he, then, claim a share to our Blood, our History and our society: SAME COUNTRY, SAME BLOOD!…
…Against the system of capitalistic exploitation that squeezed dry Greek and foreign workers in its gearing in order to satisfy its profiteering greed, against the anti-human, leveled and declined theories of communism considering workers as proletarians who have no country, against all those we, the Greek National-Socialists of Chrysi Avgi, irrevocably Racists and proud for our real Socialistic identity bravely shout: KICK THEM FOREIGN WORKERS OUT OF GREECE! LONG LIVES THE GREEK WORKER! RACISM NOW FOR THE FATHERLAND AND THE PEOPLE!".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 69, 25/2/1992, page 38. Article titled: "Signs of the Times", commenting an article from the magazine "Tahydromos" on the racism in Greece: "Regarding the fear expressed from Tahydromos, "whether the time for a Greek Lepen has come", and "that Hitler is waiting in the corner", we assure them that soon, we Greek National-Socialists, will realize their nightmare ".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 70, 2/4/1992, page 39-40. Article titled: "National is what is true": "They ignore our real brothers, Pomakous, while, at the same time, they urge us to consider as Greek all the Muslims in Thrace, and they hypocritically tell us that our only difference is religion. A journey to Thrace is enough for us to ascertain how much this assumption is far from truth, since the tremendous racial and cultural difference between them, of Turkish origin, and us Greeks becomes obvious at a glance. It is the same difference existing between the gypsies and us. Each Greek visiting the communities of those of Turkish origin spontaneously experiences the feeling of repulsion and the strong bad smell. …We are talking about original Turks, Mongolians, gypsy humanoids…
…We Greek National-Socialists shout bravely, that those two worms, Sadik and Faikoglou, must be expelled from the Greek Parliament, and to be sent, them and the rest of the pack, back to where they came from, the hostile and dry Mongolian steppes. Greek patriots, how much longer we will warm up such snakes in our land, knowing that they will grab the first opportunity to try their poisonous bite with their stinky mouths, on the body of our ancestor's land".
Magazine "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 92. "In modern history, the revolution of our Ideas, the "National Revolution", that was realized during the interwar period, in several European Countries with various results, is the last and youngest Revolution of History. Its realization sealed the crucial theoretical turn that was achieved by the White Race and its nations during the process of History. This theoretical turn created the regime of 4th August, the National Socialism, the Fascism, the Falangism and other European Nationalist Regimes. It also established the foundations for the reconstruction of the Forces of Tradition of today and tomorrow! We ought to pace in this path during these "resolute years". We the defeated of yesterday, shall only be the Winners of tomorrow! Because we feel the visions, we believe in destiny and we fight for the Nation, the People and our Race. For the continuity of Life and Freedom of evolution. We are against the darkness of Zionist "enlightenment", guards of the ancestral inheritance and unrepented defenders of the ideas of the Greek World's eternal beauty".
From the Second Congress of the People's League of Chrysi Avgi, in Athens April 11-12, 1992: "The roots of most of the problems of our country, are found at the period of the Second World War, in which Greece involved serving interests foreign to the Nation, paying a high price of blood, in order to be found on the side of the victorious Allies".
Articles of this kind are included in all of the issues of "Chrysi Avgi". We quote the most characteristic extracts. We will conclude with extracts from their last issue:
Newspaper "Chrysi Avgi", Issue No 235, April 3-9 1998, in article titled: "The ancestral achievements, invitation to action", we read: The level of each individual is directly related to our National-Racial level…
…The worst ending for us (that is, for Hellenism) is the intention of Zionism, as described in the famous "Protocols of Zion". Destruction of Racial Nations, with total subjection to the ruling of the only, the chosen race of Jahveh. The chosen people of Israel! The other ending is our natural Racial and National answer. The loud and revolutionary "NO", that will be stated by the Greek people, coming out of our stern chests, against the rage of the chosen race of Israel, against the Lernean Hydra of Zionism. Fire!
The reborn Greek Hero, like Phoenix reborn from its ashes, the ashes of the Herculian Race, already holds the burning Torch and the Double-Edged Axe!
LONG LIVE VICTORY!"
The activity of the nazi organization "Chrysi Avgi" goes beyond racial declarations. It expands to a series of brutal and unprovoked attacks against democrats, anti-nationalistic organizations and immigrants, for which there are no judicial decisions but there are signed accusations against "Chrysi Avgi" which appeared in the newspapers. We herein refer to some of these cases:
On April 7, 1996, ten members of the political organization OSE (Organization for the Socialistic Revolution) were attacked at Kypseli, Athens, while handing out their newspaper "Ergatiki Allilegyi" and leaflets for an open discussion organized by above group. The office of "Chrysi Avgi" was found at a close distance from the location of the assault. OSE accused "the neo-Nazis of Chrysi Avgi" for the attack by relative press announcement. Five members of OSE were transferred to hospital.
In the beginning of September 1996, in Chania, Crete, two Greeks immigrants from the former Soviet territories in the Black Sea and one Greek from South Albania were attacked. The Students' Group "PAMK" -students' movement politically annexed to "PASOK" reported the assault. The relative press announcement mentions that the perpetrators were members of the national-racist organization "Chrysi Avgi" who wrote the name of their organization on the wall.
On January 31, 1997, "Chrysi Avgi" attacked two members of the left organization "OAKKE" (Organization for the Reconstruction of the Greek Communist Party). OAKKE accused the Nazi organization by press announcement. The members of above organization, G. Ioannidis, worker at shipyards, and P. Gournas, student, were wounded and transferred to hospital. The Town Councils of Drapetsona and Keratsini also condemned the assault with specific reference to the "fascists of Chrysi Avgi".
In 1996, in view of the voting for members of the Greek Parliament, and during the pre-election period, members of "Chrysi Avgi" smashed the kiosk of the participating political parties "OAKKE"-"Ouranio Toxo", with informative material.
In January 1998, at 7.30 p.m., A. Kalofolias, a 34-year old member of the Band "Last Drive" was attacked by three Nazi who hit him in the face with an iron bar. When he fell on the pavement, they started to hit his face against the marble in front of many eyewitnesses. Even when Kalofolias managed to crawl to the entrance of a shop, in order to escape from the murderous attack, they followed him and kept on hitting him in front of an employee. Then the three Nazis went in the block of flats where the office of "Chrysi Avgi" was found. These facts come from the testimonies of the victim and eyewitnesses.
On February 1998, at 9 in the morning, at Omonia Sq., in the center of Athens, a group of Nazis, members of "Chrysi Avgi" beat up a 25 year old Albanian, Armout A. The Nazis forced the victim to read aloud an extract of an article from a newspaper, condemning their activity. According to the victim (interview at the newspaper "Kiriakatiki Eleftherotypia"): "I was walking down Omonia Sq., when 4 persons with saved heads and military uniforms stopped me. They were holding a newspaper. "Do you know how to read Albanian worm?", they said, and they started to beat me. They were hitting me for about 10 minutes and in between they made me read aloud the titles: "Supporters of "Chrysi Avgi" beat up foreigners systematically" or "the snake's egg has already been hatched in Greece". Thus, I learnt from first hand, who beat me and why".
These assaults of "Chrysi Avgi" are the implementation of its declarations. The most substantial and comprehensive expression of racist ideology is violence. The supporters and defenders of racist ideas consist a threat for political democracy, for life, for honor, and for citizens’ freedom. The government does not prohibit nazi activities, thus permitting the unpunished, the raw violation of the constitutionally protected right to absolute protection of life, freedom and honor of everybody living within the borders of the Greek State without distinction as to nationality, race, language and religious or political convictions (Constitution Article 5, paragraph 2).
Our country is obliged to take legislative measures in order to prohibit the function and the activities of the organization "Chrysi Avgi", which openly declares its nazi and racist ideology, in line with the International Convention On the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), signed on March 7, 1966 and ratified with the Legislative Decree 494/1970 (Government’s Gazette A’, 77, April 3, 1970). According to the Constitution, Article 28, para. 1, the International Convention, after its ratification, consists inseparable part of the Greek national Law and is superior to any other contrary provision of the law.
The Article 4 of CERD, constitutes the obligation of the States to prohibit the racist organisations and to decree sanctions for the racist activities. We quote Article 4 of CERD: "States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one color or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in Article 5 of this Convention, inter alia:
Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another color or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;
Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination".
Interpretive APPROACH OF Article 4 of CERD
article 4 constitutes the obligation of the State to prohibit racist organizations like "Chrysi Avgi". According to the relative provision those organizations which "promote and incite racial discrimination" must be prohibited.
We must therefore specify, first, the definition of racial discrimination according to CERD and second, which actions are considered to be incitement and encouragement to racial discrimination. We will prove at the same time, that on the basis of the aforesaid, "Chrysi Avgi" must be prohibited.
In order to interpret Article 4, we will refer to the general rule of interpretation of Treaties (Article 31, para. 3, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) according to which, the International Law as it is embodied in legislation and practice must be taken into account.
Article 1 of CERD quotes: "the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life".
We will also refer to the posterior Declaration of UNESCO, 1978 for race and racial prejudice. The Declaration does not provide the legal definition of racism, but it contains a detailed list of manifestations of racism: theories supporting that there are inferior and superior racial or national groups, the justification alone of these theories, racist ideology, prejudiced attitudes, attitudes indicating discrimination, practices leading to racist inequality, and, finally, legislation and practice of discrimination (Article 2).
One of the aforementioned quotations from the printed material of "Chrysi Avgi" includes the command "Racism Now!".
Yet, the basic proof for the racist character of "Chrysi Avgi" is the open support of National Socialism: "This theoretical turn created the regime of 4th August, the National Socialism, the Fascism, the Falangism and other European Nationalist Regimes. It also established the foundations for the reconstruction of the Forces of Tradition of today and tomorrow! We ought to pace in this path during these "resolute years"".
When we refer to racist theories, we must refer mainly to the general chapter under the title "National Socialism" . This doctrine is described in Hitler's book "MEIN KAMPF", which was rightly considered to be the "Bible of Racism". According to Hitler’s theory, the "White Truth", the superior races must replace the inferior races. The White Race has the mission to civilize the world. The Jewish people attack the white race. Where there is wickedness, according to Hitler, a Jew is involved. The white blood must be kept pure. Miscegenation is the ultimate sin".
It is generally accepted by International Law and in case law, that the defenders of National Socialism and Hitlerism are the most fanatic supporters of racial discrimination, "the superiority of the White Race", "the pureness of blood". The theory of Hitlerism, being the most perfected racial theory, is the raw violation of all human rights. It is for this reason, that after the Second World War, humanity as a whole proceeded, through the body of International Community, the United States Organization, to enter into a series of conventions for the protection of human rights so as to prevent their infringement by a new Hitler, by a new imperialistic racist policy and, also, by the colonialist racism.
It is characteristic that the preamble of CERD refers that the States Parties are convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere.
The second part of our interpretive approach regards actions that are considered to lead to incitement and encouragement to racial discrimination. The racist action is any kind of violence that violates the principle of equality between people without distinction as to race, color, nationality or ethnic origin, a principle protected by our Constitution (article 4 and 5 para. 2), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (Articles 1 and 2), the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 14), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 26). According to this definition, the following actions can be considered as promotion of and incitement to racist action: any kind of racist propaganda and support of racial discrimination, every invitation to the public to adopt the positions about racial or/and ethnic superiority.
The Nazi State of Hitler implemented racist ideology, building its foundations on violence against the "inferior races" (and especially the Jews), and the "inferior nations". Another form of the racist state was the colonies, where the enforcement of racism was based on the relationship between the colonialist nation and the natives. The system of APARTHEID was one of the last and most hideous examples of this kind of racism. APARTHEID suppressed all human rights for people belonging to the black race and was condemned by international community . Consequently, violence is the substantial element of racism.
At this point we will refer to the definition given to racism by sociologist Albert Memi : "Racism is the generalized and resolute development of biological differences real or imaginary in favor of the prosecutor and against his victim in order to justify his privileges or his assault… Racist attitude is characterized by the effort made by the racist to legalize his assault or to keep attacking, legalizing his privilege. This assault or privilege may be present or potential".
The racist will always express his ideology with assault, with violence in order to confirm his "superiority". The theory of racial superiority is used in order to legalize violence that has already been exercised or that will be exercised. It is the basis of violence.
For these reasons the democratic constitution must not allow the expression of racist positions, because thus illegal violence is protected. This attitude leads, in practice, to the abolition of the principles of the democratic constitution.
THE BAN ON THE RACIST ORGANIZATIONS AND THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
The mandate of the International Anti-Racist Convention, solely on the basis of a strict interpretation of its provisions, without examining its object and purpose, might be considered to be contrary to the freedom of opinion and expression (article 14 para. 1 of the Constitution, article 10 of ECHR) and the principle of free association of political parties. These principles, actually, impose the duty of a democratic society to allow the free opposition of ideas and speech.
Nevertheless, in a democratic society, there must be repressive measures against illegal violence and the ideology of violence. The praisers of crimes against the life, the honor, and the freedom of citizens, like murder, torture, rape, drug dealing, pederasty, are punished with sanctions in States with democratic institutions. The racist position, especially the support of Hitlerism and National Socialism is not only praise to such crimes perpetrated in the past, but also, and this is most important, provokes to the perpetration of new crimes. At this point, we must clarify that the Nazi crime is not a political crime as terrorist action might be considered in certain cases in the modern States (as action of a national liberation movement, or of an anarchic or anti-constitutional movement). The Nazi crime is about brutal racial cleansing, ethnic cleansing, about actions absolutely condemned by humanity.
In this light the object and purpose of CERD and all other legislative and administrative repressive measures taken by the democratic States of Europe becomes clear.
We quote relative extracts from the Report of the Committee of the European Parliament on Racism in Europe, 1985 : "The role of law and relative legal mechanisms must not be either underestimated nor overestimated. We must not forget that every measure, positive, preventive or repressive, aiming at the elimination of racial discrimination within the sphere of a democratic constitution must, finally, be based on a rule of law. From this aspect, law is an indispensable and ubiquitous instrument".
There is absolute need for a repressive law against racist propaganda and racist action since these forms of activity result to the abolition of the fundamental freedoms of human, the protection of which is the duty of all democratic States.
The freedom of expression must be restricted when other legitimate rights are threatened . It is necessary to counterbalance the right to freedom of expression and the legitimate right to be violated. During this process we must take into account the special importance of the freedom of opinion for democracy. Two criteria are necessary: First, a legitimate right protected by the Constitution must be violated. Second, the limitation of freedom of opinion must aspire to the repression of illegal activity.
The freedom of racist expression infringes the right to absolute protection of life, honor and freedom of those who live within the borders of the Greek State, without distinction as to race, color, descent, or ethnic origin (article 5, para. 2 of the Constitution), and also, the principle of equality (article 4 of the Constitution). This principle applies only to the Greek citizens, but the concept of the elimination of all forms of discrimination is included as substantial element in the context of each individual right. CERD, ratified by our country, declares illegal the racist expression.
The protection of the right to freedom of expression enforces the prohibition of racist expression. Article 10 of ECHR, nowadays considered to be the European Constitution, constitutes the absolute protection of freedom of expression, including freedom of opinion, reception and dissemination of information and ideas, without interference from public authorities. Nevertheless, the exercise of this right is subject to legitimate restrictions, which are necessary to a democratic society for the achievement of certain goals (para. 2). WOLFGANG STRASSER, member of the Secretariat of the European Committee on Human Rights , argues on this subject as follows: "Article 10 must be considered as a key-provision for the stability of democracy. Therefore, its interpretation is broad and liberal, based on the principle that even the information or ideas which are annoying or shocking to the public must be allowed and the provisions for exclusion must be interpreted limitedly.
From this aspect, two cases in which the Article 10 is invoked must be distinguished:
By persons whose freedom of expression has been restricted because they supported ideas of extreme nationalism, racial hatred, anti-Semitism e.t.c. In this field, the Committee generally considers that the restrictions imposed are justified either on the basis of Article 10 para. 2, or, in rare cases, of Article 17 of the Convention.
By persons whose purpose was to express criticism against manifestations of extreme nationalism, racial hatred, anti-Semitism e.t.c. and whose freedom of expression was restricted usually after relative application of the opponents: from this point of view the instruments of the Convention protect the freedom of expression, provided that the criticism is relative and equivalent ".
It is obvious that the freedom of expression in a democratic society requires the implementation of article 4 of CERD.
The same mandate is included in Article 20 para. 2 of the Covenant of the United Nations Organization on Civil and Political Rights, which Greece has ratified and entered into force in August 5, 1997. According to Article 20 para. 2 the States Parties must prohibit any encouragement of racial, ethnic or religious hatred leading to incitement to discrimination.
Since the prohibition of the individual expression of the propapagandist of racist ideology must be imposed, the organized expression, the illegal Nazi group, the "party" of Nazi must also be prohibited. Therefore, "Chrysi Avgi" is not protected by Article 19 of the Constitution, establishing free association of political parties. It is not a party as protected by this institution in a democratic state but an organized group of persons who commit a criminal offence only by participating, because they jointly praise the crimes of Hilerism during the Second World War and provoke to repetition ("Regarding the fear expressed from Tahydromos, "whether the time for a Greek Lepen has come", and "that Hitler is waiting in the corner", we assure them that soon, we Greek National-Socialists, will realize their nightmare "). The recognition of the right to free association for a Nazi party is equivalent with the demand for recognition of the same right for the rapers (or the defenders of rape), the murderers (or the defenders of murder), the pederasts e.t.c.
THE PROVISIONS OF CERD ARE JUS COGENS
The enforcement of the provisions of CERD is required for the protection of our democratic constitution, and because, in this way, our country will fulfill its constitutional obligation to promote harmonious relationships with third countries and to contribute to the establishment of co-existence in peace and friendship.
In the preamble of CERD we read: "Reaffirming that discrimination between human beings on the grounds of race, color or ethnic origin is an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations and is capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples and the harmony of persons living side by side even within one and the same State".
In the Declaration of UNESCO on Racial Discrimination, it is mentioned that racism prevents the development of its victims, corrupts those supporting racist ideas, divides nations within the same State, is an obstacle to international co-operation and provokes political enmity to peoples. Racism is a major source of disorder in the world against peaceful co-existence.
A State that allows racial discriminations endangers not only democracy in the interior but, also, friendly relations with third parties. The acceptance of superior and inferior races, superior and inferior peoples, superior and inferior nations can only create enmity that, in the right moment, may be the cause of a war and ethnic cleansing with the most barbaric characteristics.
The importance of combating racism is recognized from all democratic States for all the aforementioned reasons. Therefore, the provisions of CERD are Jus Cogens according to Article 53, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: "A Peremptory Norm of General International Law is a Norm accepted and recognized by the International Community of States as a whole, as a Norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by subsequent Norm of General International Law having the same character".
This character of CERD makes the enforcement of its provisions obligatory for all States Parties with the greatest consistency.
We must stress here that CERD, as well as all International Covenants on Human Rights concluded within the sphere of UN, have the force of an International Constitution. These texts participate to the formation of the constitutional order in the interior of each State Member. Because of their universal character, they are considered to be the Constitutional Law of International Community, and the cultural inheritance of humanity.
ANTI-RACIST LEGISLATION OF THE GREEK STATE
The Greek Criminal Law in compliance with CERD, has declared racist action and expression criminal offence with the promulgation of Act 927/79 (amended by Art. 24 of Act 1419/1984) against acts or activities leading to racial discrimination. This Act only typically complies with CERD. It really ignores CERD, since only the individual racial expression and action is declared illegal, and not organized expression and action.
It should be stressed here that, under the present Section 4 of Act 927/1979, ONLY THE INJURED PARTY might bring an action in a case with racist connotations. Neither, the Public Prosecutor, nor any interested association or individual may bring judicial proceedings.
The Sanctions provided are inconsiderable. They do not surpass two years imprisonment while the person who incites to racist violence or express racist ideas might go away only with a fine.
For all of the above reasons there is no case law on the basis of this Act. Taking into consideration that Nazi organization functions for ten years in Greece, it is obvious that the victims are intimidated feeling that there is no protection from the State.
Actually, there is no Greek anti-racist legislation. There will be anti-racist legislation only with the promulgation of an Act declaring illegal Nazi organizations. It is taken for granted that, in any case, Section 4 of Act 927/1979 must be supplemented in order to allow the Public Prosecutor, and any interested association or individual to bring judicial proceedings.
THE EUROPEAN ANTI-RACIST LEGISLATION
The European Commission through its institutional bodies (Parliament, Council e.t.c.) has shown great sensitivity on the matter of anti-racist measures.
We will refer to some of these measures taken by each Member State:
In Germany, Article 9(2) prohibits bodies whose aims or activities contravene penal, constitutional or international law. This Article has been applied mainly against racist organizations. In 1989, the Federal Minister for Home Affairs prohibited the "Nationale Sammlung", and in 1992 several racist and right-wing organizations, such as the "Deutsche Alternative" and "Nationalistische Front" were also prohibited. The Federal Administrative Court confirmed the legality of prohibiting the Nationalistische Front in 1993. The Federal Constitutional Court with two decisions in 1994, ruled positively on the constitutionality of Articles 130 and 185 of German Penal Code. These Articles criminalize denial of the Holocaust (Auschwitz lie). The Court held that the denial of the Holocaust did not constitute freedom of expression for two reasons: a) because it insulted the Jewish people and b) it had been shown that this denial was not true.
France has incorporated CERD into national law
In Italy, Article 7 of Law 205/1993 on "urgent measures on racial discrimination", provides for the preventive suspension of the activities of organizations which may reasonably be supposed to be of a racist nature. In the extreme these organizations may be dissolved and their property confiscated.
In the Nederlands, an Act of 1989, provides that racist organizations may be prosecuted and dissolved. The Public Prosecutor is authorized to enforce these sanctions provided that the leaders of such groups have been convicted for violation of the Penal Code.
In Portugal, Article 46(4) of the Constitution prohibits all armed groups of a military or paramilitary nature as well as those preaching fascist ideas.
In 1994, the Constitutional Court of Portugal examined whether the National Action Movement should be dissolved, after relative application of the Public Prosecutor, on the basis of above provision. The Court did not give a ruling on this issue because, in the meantime, the group had in fact dissolved. However, the Court did give various opinions on the goals of this organization.
According to the Court, the organization and its active members propounded the ideology of race, implying their opposition to the co-existence of different races in a single state and racial miscegenation, and disseminating this ideology in such a way as to incite xenophobia and racial hatred. The organization's publications featured well - known German National Socialists, Italian fascists and Portuguese Corporatists. Enlisted members used the Nazi salute and displayed the swastika.
ENGAGEMENTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE GREEK STATE FOR COMBATING RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA
RESOLUTIONS OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL
i. On May 29, 1990, the European Council adopted a resolution on the fight against racism and xenophobia. In this resolution, the Council calls upon Member States to, inter alia:
Recognize (in case they have not yet done so), the procedure for individual petitions referred to Article 14 of CERD (2b). (Greece has not recognized Article 14).
To resolute application of laws aimed at preventing or curbing racist or xenophobic acts and the preparation of such laws by those Member States which have not yet done so (2c).
ii. In July 1996, the Council adopted a resolution for common action against racism and xenophobia inviting Member States to closer judicial co-operation through preparation of strict legislation and penalties.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOR MEMBER STATES
The report of European Parliament on racism and xenophobia (1989-1990) included recommendations 52, 65 and 68 according to which, Member States should: a) Promulgate Acts enabling associations and other interested parties to bring actions in Court against racist acts, b) Form mechanisms monitoring application of International Conventions and Directives, and c) Adopt strict legislative measures especially concerning the deprivation of civil rights from person convicted for racist activity.
RECOMMENDATION OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION AGAINST RACISM AND INTOLERANCE
The Report of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) for Greece, refers that Greece must recognize Article 14 of CERD.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had persistently asked from all the States Parties to comply with Articles 2-7 of CERD, specifically referring to Article 4 para. a, b and c, regardless of the existence of racial discrimination in the interior of each State.
The Committee has affirmed that the application of these rules is obligatory to all Member States.
It is obvious, on the basis of the aforesaid, that the Greek State does not implement the provisions of CERD, and does not comply with European practice and legislation on the matters of racism. The legality of the function and activity of the Nazi organization "Chrysi Avgi" in our country, means that the Greek State allows the cultivation of a political environment which bears the immediate danger of war, dictatorship and fascism.
For all of the above reasons
WE HEREBY ASK
That "Chrysi Avgi" be declared illegal
That the association, function and activity of any other racist group be prohibited in compliance with Article 4 of CERD
That our country recognize the procedure for individual petitions referred to Article 14 of CERD (2b)
That the Act 927/79 be amended so that the Public Prosecutor, and any interested association or individual may bring judicial proceedings, and strict sanctions are imposed, and that the same Act be supplemented with the provision of penal punishment for the denial of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Organization of International Military Court attached to the Covenant of London of April 8, 1945, to the extent that this denial suggests contemptuous or diminishing attitude towards a group of persons defined on the basis of color, race, religion or ethnic origin or descent
That strict legislation is promulgated in compliance with Articles 2-7 of CERD
On behalf of the Anti-Nazi Initiative
G. Tenekides: "L' Action des Nations Unies Contre Discrimination Raciale", "Recuil De Cours", International Law Academy, vol. 168 (1980), pages 269-487
CERD, Article 3
Encyclopedia Universalis, vol. 13, 1972, pages 915-916
European Parliament, Report of the Committee investigating the phenomenon of the Uprise of Fascism and Racism in Europe, Dim. Eurygenis, December 1985.
Constitutional Law, Individual Rights, P. D. Dagtoglou, Sakoulas Publications 1991
Journal "Nomiko Vima", vol. 45, Issue 6, September-October 1997
The data for the legislation of European Countries are taken from a) Comparative Study on the legal instruments to combat racism and xenophobia in Member States, of the Directorate - General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs, b) Report of the Committee of the European Parliament investigating the phenomenon of racism and xenophobia, 1989-1990