The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe has responded today to the proposed amendment that would punish expelling foreigners whose complaint against the police would be closed without further action, requesting its removal :
“I am seriously concerned about the introduction by the government of the amendment to Article 19 of the draft immigration code which would allow deportation following the rejection of any migrant’s complaint that they have been victim of racist or other unlawful violence by law enforcement officers.
This amendment is ill-advised and should not be adopted. In effect, it shifts the burden of proof onto the migrant complainants and introduces one more ground for deporting migrants who may have been subjected to unlawful violence but have been unable to substantiate their claims.
The amendment would also foster impunity, since, most likely, migrants will avoid reporting instances of ill-treatment and law enforcement officers would feel shielded for this kind of serious misconduct.
Moreover, I do not see the need for such a provision, because any false criminal complaint can already be sanctioned under the existing legislation. I therefore call on the Greek Parliament to reject this amendment, and adopt instead an immigration code which will strengthen, instead of weakening, the human rights of migrant victims of racist or other unlawful violence.
I also reiterate my call to the Greek government to establish an independent and efficient complaint mechanism covering the activities of all law enforcement authorities in order to eliminate impunity for serious human rights violations and strengthen the rule of law.”