In August 2014, Costas and his partner, who is a refugee, were badly beaten by a group of thugs in a homophobic and racist attack in Athens. “I think they could tell we are a couple, and they targeted us because of that, and because of my partner’s skin colour,” Costas told us. His leg was broken in three places after he was repeatedly punched and kicked. More than a year later, no suspects have been identified, let alone punished.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of reported attacks against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) people in Greece has more than doubled, while racist attacks remain an ongoing issue.
Greek authorities repeatedly fail to properly investigate any hate motive behind attacks, and to protect everyone affected. “When the police arrived, I was treated as if I’m contagious,” said Costas. Both he and his partner live in constant fear for their safety. In March 2015, Costas’ partner was attacked again.
The lack of legal recognition of same-sex relationships and gender identity makes the LGBTI community feel even more vulnerable. “It’s like the government condones the attacks by not acknowledging we are real,” Costas told us. “It’s as if we don’t exist.”
Urge the Greek government to order a full investigation into this hate crime and bring their attackers to justice.
Write to the Greek Minister of Justice:
Urge the Greek authorities to ensure this hate crime is fully investigated and that Costas and his partner get compensation for the injuries and trauma they have suffered.
Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
96 Mesogeion Avenue
115 27 Athens
Fax: 0030 775 5835
Tweet your support for Costas and his partner:
Use social media to show your solidarity and tell the Greek government (@govgr) to end hate crimes. Tweet a photo of yourself kissing your partner or holding a friend’s hand in a public place. Be sure to include the hashtag #W4R in your message.
#CostasW4R:not invisible,not alone.You have the #righttolove without fear. @govgr must end #HateCrimes & recognise same-sex relationships
1. Download the case sheet for Costas and his partner.
2. Download a template appeal letter to the Greek Minister of Justice.
3. Download suggested solidarity messages and sample tweets.
4. Download address labels for appeal and solidarity messages.
5. Tweet directly about your action and encourage others to get involved! Click the Twitter icon below!