Executive Summary

Greece is a constitutional republic and multiparty parliamentary democracy. Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral parliament. On September 20, 2015, the country held parliamentary elections that were considered free and fair. A coalition government formed by the SYRIZA and ANEL parties headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras led the country.

Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.

With more than 60,000 migrants and refugees stranded in the country at year’s end, the most significant human rights problems were the overcrowding and poor humanitarian conditions facing migrants and asylum seekers at migrant reception and registration sites, including reported gender-based violence; a lack of adequate shelter, food, and potable water; poor hygiene; and insufficient access to such services as health and pharmaceutical care, legal information and assistance, and psychological and social support. Police violence against migrants, asylum seekers, and Roma was also a significant problem. Societal discrimination and instances of violence against individuals perceived to be foreigners and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community were also substantial.

Other reported human rights problems included some restrictions on freedom of press and religion; domestic violence; trafficking in persons; incidents of anti-Semitism; limits on the freedom of certain ethnic-minority groups, including the recognized Muslim minority in Thrace, to self-identify; and discrimination against Roma and exploitation of Romani children.

The government took steps to investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government.

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