The criminalisation of human rights defenders in Greece : implications, consequences and strategies of resistance

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Hanley, Samuel
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This thesis explores the criminalisation of human rights defenders in Greece, taking a particular look at the role of the European Union, the resulting consequences and the tactics employed by these individuals advocating for the promotion and protection of people-on-the-move. The research commences by laying out a comprehensive overview of the legal and political framework regarding human rights defenders in Greece, analysing relevant international and European policies and legislation and its alignment with the criminalisation of these individuals. Furthermore, this study delves into the concept of civil society and civic space in an attempt to provide a grasp of the linkage between these theories and the progressively challenging situation these people find themselves in. This thesis uses semi-structured interviews with a small number of human rights defenders to provide a nuanced understanding of the implications of criminalisation methods. It examines the impact on human rights defenders’ ability to carry out their activities in the face of legal persecution, harassment and intimidation tactics. Additionally, the tactics employed by human rights defenders will be highlighted to outline the obstacles presented by criminalisation and the ever-shrinking civic space in Greece.
Second semester University: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Greece, human rights defenders