Greek Jews celebrate outlawing of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party
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Greek Jews celebrate outlawing of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party

'We hope other nations which allow similar neo-Nazi parties to run in elections..will likewise proscribe parties which promote racist ideologies', EJC president Moshe Kantor said

Ilias Kasidiaris, of the Greek extreme right party Golden Dawn
Ilias Kasidiaris, of the Greek extreme right party Golden Dawn

Greek Jews celebrated a court decision to outlaw the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, calling it a “landmark” ruling that protects democracy.

The ruling on Wednesday by the Athens Court of Appeals convicted seven of the party’s former lawmakers, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, of leading a criminal organisation, a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, the Associated Press reported. The remaining 51 defendants were convicted of belonging to a criminal enterprise.

The court decision caps a trial that began in 2015 with prosecutors arguing that Golden Dawn leaders were criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing of rap singer Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter. Other cases supporting the prosecution  were assaults on immigrants and left-wing activists.

Leaders of Golden Dawn, which uses a Swastika-themed symbol, have a history of Holocaust denial and incitement against Jews.

“The landmark ruling of the Greek court that criminalises this neo-Nazi entity shields the republic of our country,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said Wednesday.

“It reaffirms an important truth: Neo-Nazi organizations that weaponize patriotism are dangerous and spread hatred.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor expressed hope that other countries would take similar steps to outlaw neo-Nazi parties .He said it is “a welcome and important decision and finally tells the facts as they are, that neo-Nazis like those in Golden Dawn are criminals, pure and simple”

“We hope other nations which allow similar neo-Nazi parties to run in elections and sit in parliaments will likewise proscribe parties which promote racist and hateful ideologies.”

“Today is a win for democracy and a defeat for hate and intolerance.”

“This is hopefully the death knell for the Golden Dawn.”

 

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