Greek Police Issue Anti-Romani Document

29 July 2004

In mid-February 2004, Director D. Karras of the Police Directorate of Achaia issued a circular, on file at the ERRC and its partner Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) "Proposed measures for shop owners in view of the forthcoming carnival festivities", which, at Point 4, suggested, "not to exchange money with private citizens, especially Gypsies." According to the Greek national daily newspaper Eleftherotypia of February 19, 2004, Lieutenant-General Mr Fotis Bourantas, Police Director of Western Greece, ordered the withdrawal of the circular and the opening of a Sworn Administrative Inquiry (SAI), while stating that it had been written "under the pressure of time and a heavy workload." The GHM wrote to Lieutenant-General Bourantas, expressing satisfaction with his decision, but noted that his statement may influence the outcome of the SAI. The GHM called for the suspension of Police Director Karras for the duration of the investigation and requested to be informed of the results of the investigation. (ERRC, GHM)

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