Humanist Union of Greece
18 June 2020
HUG also noted with satisfaction that during yesterday’s debate at the UN HRC “Speakers expressed deep concern over structural and systemic racism in all societies affecting minority groups the world over, emphasizing that States had the responsibility to prevent racist-driven crimes and ensure justice and accountability. It was time to unite in a firm, global and collective response.” On this side of the Atlantic, there is also systemic police or border guard excessive violence, contempt for human life, all that enhanced by frequent impunity for such major human rights violations. The standards of the rule of law are under threat even in several European states. Europe’s attitude towards refugees at the external borders of the EU, that includes torture and shooting deaths, as well as systemic racism, often coupled with impunity, in law enforcement agencies of many European states, are not positive examples of the humanistic values of Europe that are otherwise so readily upheld.
More than 100 Members of European Parliament, both in mid-March 20202 and in mid-May 2020, called on the European Commission to immediately investigate the shootings at the Greek-Turkish border that have resulted in at least two well-documented deaths and one missing person, adding that they cannot tolerate that these findings are simply ignored by the responsible authorities. To this day, the call fell on deaf ears.
“Refugee lives matter” as much as “black lives matter” and all those who support the international commission of inquiry to investigate systemic racism in law enforcement in the United States should also support an immediate investigation by the European Commission of systemic racism in law enforcement at the external borders of the EU by agents operating in the name of the whole EU.