DHAKA: Greece must examine the legality of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which has vowed to purge illegal migrants, a senior European official said.
The Council of Europe will also send a mission to Greece to assess if racism and xenophobia are on the rise, its Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks told Greek newspaper To Vima, reports daily Hurriyet.
He said Golden Dawn – which won 18 seats in the 300-member parliament in last month`s election – was the `most overtly extremist and Nazi party in Europe`.
The party often employs overtly anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric and has been accused of involvement in attacks on migrants and Greeks of foreign appearance.
`The question to be asked is whether Golden Dawn will allow a democratic regime to flourish freely`, Muiznieks said, adding that attacks on foreigners and refugees `are directly linked to the racist speeches spread` by the party.
He also called for close scrutiny into alleged links between the party and the police.
In a report this month entitled `Hate on the Streets`, Human Rights Watch called on Athens to take urgent action to stem an alarming rise in attacks on Asian and African immigrants, including stabbings and serious beatings.
`The state should not be allowing gangs of thugs to mete out vigilante violence in its city streets,` lead researcher Judith Sunderland said.
BDST: 0252 HRS, JUL 16, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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