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Press Release

MHRMI Condemns Greece’s Harassment of Human Rights Defender Panayote Dimitras

January 31, 2014


In response to the International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture request for urgent intervention (www.omct.org), Macedonian Human Rights Movement International condemns the ongoing judicial harassment of human rights defender and Greek Helsinki Monitor Spokesperson, Panayote Dimitras.

Mr. Dimitras was indicted on charges of perjury and defamation of Konstantinos Plevris, a member lawyer of the Athens Bar Association and author of the anti-Semitic book “The Jews: The Whole Truth”, which glorifies Hitler and calls for the extermination of Jews. In 2009, Dimitras was a witness in a trial in which Plevris originally received a suspended sentence of 14 months for “incitation to racial violence and hatred and for racial insults”. The other three defendants were acquitted of the same charges. Mr. Plevris appealed the sentence and was later acquitted.

In his defence deposition before the trial, Plevris accused Dimitras of being “a wretched traitor of Greece, actively and publicly supporting the existence of a Macedonian minority in this country”, and being “the object of a complaint for treason against the Fatherland”. Plevris also claimed that Andrea Gilbert, GHM specialist on anti-Semitism, was “a Jewish-American who boasts of representing homosexual women, meaning that she is a psychologically defective, sexually perverted person who, as she does not respect her female nature, does not respect the truth either”.

Instead of prosecuting openly racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic lawyers, politicians, religious leaders and others, Greece chooses to target minorities and minority rights advocates.

Rather than appealing to Greek authorities, who conduct this state-sponsored persecution, MHRMI calls on the international community to condemn Greece’s practice of harassing minorities and human rights defenders and to force Greece to conform to the various human rights treaties to which it is a signatory.


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Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: www.mhrmi.org, www.twitter.com/mhrmi, www.facebook.com/mhrmi, info@mhrmi.org, +1 416-850-7125.