ATHENS – After the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA packed the board with gay rights activists and gypsies (Roma), the head of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR) quit in protest.
Giorgos Stavropoulos resigned, calling that decision “the only dignified reaction” to the government’s “disregard” for the independent body and its work, saying adding five members from the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex) community and two from the Roma community to the body’s plenary was a “blow” to its independence, said Kathimerini.
He said he decision violates “any principle of equality” in relation to the other members of the GNCHR who only have one vote in the plenary and that the the body has already made “a decisive contribution” in highlighting the problems of the Roma and LGBTQI community.
“However, their excessively favorable treatment at the expense of all other defenders of human rights insults the latter, but also undermines the authority of the Commission itself, uncritically altering its composition and affecting its independence,” he added.
GNCHR is an advisory body to the Greek State on matters pertaining to human rights protection. There was no explanation from the government why the additions weren’t made before during its now more than four years in office and not months before an election or whether it was an attempt to reach-out to the LGBTQI and Roma communities for more votes.