Greece

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, volutpat referrentur mel ex, eam ad dicant fabulas vituperata. Quo te civibus vivendum mediocrem. At pri mundi offendit. Vim an everti accusam consectetuer. Ceteros fabellas vix no, id impetus fastidii eam. Sonet essent ut vim, ea alia everti oblique eum, suas senserit voluptatibus sea et.

Vide partem id mei, vel ex nonumes repudiare. Et veritus admodum usu. Nec quas nobis eruditi at, ut mei utinam legere. Eum in debitis liberavisse, qui cu tollit rationibus interpretaris.

Global advocacy highlights against HIV criminalisation presented at AIDS 2016

22 Jul 2016
Yesterday, at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, the HIV Justice Network and GNP+ presented highlights relating to global advocacy against HIV criminalisation based on updated research from our Advancing HIV Justice 2 report. Advancing HIV Justice: Building momentum in … More

Outrage HIV Justice Film Festival debuts at AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, first ever film festival to focus on HIV criminalisation

30 Jun 2014
In the lead-up to AIDS 2014, ten powerful thought-provoking films from seven countries over three days (18, 19 and 21 July 2014) will outrage Melbourne film-goers by exploring how laws and policies aimed at controlling, punishing or disempowering specific groups … More

EATG seeks to ensure that Europe-wide standards of up-to-date scientific evidence limit overly broad HIV criminalisation

28 Oct 2013
EATG’s new position paper on prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and/or transmission published last week recommends that the criminal law should only be used in extremely rare and unusual cases where HIV is maliciously and intentionally transmitted and that Europe-wide … More

Greece: Scientists and human rights campaigners condemn the reinstatement of Provision 39A allowing forced HIV testing of suspected sex workers, drug users and undocumented migrants

08 Jul 2013
Reinstatement of controversial Health Provision slammed by HIV and Human Rights Groups, by Zoe Mavroudi [Republished from the radiobubble blog, with thanks to Zoe Mavroudi] A legal provision that led to mass arrests of HIV-positive women in Greece in 2012 … More

Video toolkit: How to advocate for prosecutorial guidelines

30 May 2013
New guidance from UNAIDS to limit the overly broad use of criminal laws to regulate and punish people living with HIV who are accused of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and/or transmission, recommends that: Countries should develop and implement prosecutorial and police … More

Video: Seminar on HIV Criminalisation, Berlin, 20 September 2012 (EATG/DAH/IPPF/HIV in Europe)

23 Oct 2012
This international conference on the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived HIV exposure and non-intentional HIV transmission took place at the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin on 20th September 2012. HIV advocates, law and human rights experts and other concerned … More

Greece: Matthew Weait on the moral panic over the mass arrest of female sex workers with HIV

03 May 2012
Matthew Weait, Professor of Law and Policy at Birkbeck College, University of London guest blogs on Wednesday’s arrest of 17 HIV-positive women who allegedly worked illegally as sex workers.  Greek authorities are accusing them of intentionally causing serious bodily harm.  … More

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Country overview

Public Health Decree 39A (repealed April 2015)  allowed forced HIV testing of suspected sex workers, drug users and undocumented migrants. First introduced by Socialist health minister Andreas Loverdos in April 2012, second repeal, 2 April 2015.

Personal correspondence with Zoe Mavroudi, Director of RUINS. Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt in Edwin J Bernard and Sally Cameron. Advancing HIV Justice 2: Building momentum in global advocacy against HIV criminalisation. HIV Justice Network and GNP+. Brighton/Amsterdam, April 2016, footnote 17. http://www.hivjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AHJ2.final2_.10May2016.pdf

Greece reintroduces forced HIV testing. Henriette Jacobsen, EurActive. Com, Jul 12, 2013. http://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/greece-reintroduces-forced-hiv-testing/

Human Rights Watch (2 April 2015). Dispatches: Greece Repeals Abusive Health Regulation. APRIL 2, 2015 6:40PM EDT, Dispatches: Eva Cosséhttps://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/02/dispatches-greece-repeals-abusive-health-regulation


Specific laws

Specific law enacted No

Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: No

Prosecuted using non-HIV specific laws: No

Prosecuted using both specific and non specific laws: No

Is non-disclosure actionable: No

Is exposure actionable: No

Is transmission actionable: No

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 32

At least 32 women in 2012-13. The Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants provided pro bono legal assistance to the women involved in the mass arrest. In April 2014, a Greek court ruled two women had been unlawfully detained and made the lowest possible award of €10 for each day that they had been held in pre-trial detention. At least twelve of the women have filed lawsuits before the European Court of Human Rights for inhuman and degrading treatment. Arguments have been filed from both sides but, as of yet, the case has not yet been heard. Personal correspondence with Zoe Mavroudi, Director of RUINS. Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt in Edwin J Bernard and Sally Cameron. Advancing HIV Justice 2: Building momentum in global advocacy against HIV criminalisation. HIV Justice Network and GNP+. Brighton/Amsterdam, April 2016, footnote 17. http://www.hivjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AHJ2.final2_.10May2016.pdf

Laws

Applicable laws

Chronology of Public Health Decree 39A:

·         First introduced by Socialist health minister Andreas Loverdos in April 2012

·         Repealed May 2013.

·         Reintroduced by Georgiadis, in one of his first decisions as health minister, July 2013.

 ·        Repealed for a second time in April 2015.

Discussion

The law was a politically expedient way to capitalise on xenophobia and HIV stigma during a politically unstable period. It was primarily used discriminately against the most marginalised people - women who use drugs who may also engage in transactional sex - as part of a moral campaign.

As outlined in Advancing HIV Justice 2, the media became a target for community action. Director Zoe Mavroudi worked with a small but dedicated production team to develop the powerful documentary, RUINS: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt. It tells the story of the women who were detained by the Greek police, forcibly tested, charged with a felony, imprisoned and publicly exposed for living with HIV. Zoe’s documentary highlights the human rights abuses that can happen to poor, disenfranchised people scapegoated for an HIV epidemic for which the State itself is responsible – because it ignored the harm reduction needs of people who inject drugs or sell sex. RUINS is now available to watch online (with subtitles in English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish) http://ruins-documentary.com/en/

The online release of this film has provided an opportunity to support the women by donating towards their legal costs. Donations generated by Ruins have been allocated to support the various court cases in which the persecuted HIV-positive women are involved, their legal defence, the lawsuits some of them have filed against the Greek authorities, and the case in the European Court of Human Rights. Funds generated through private donations and screenings in Greece and abroad are allocated to an account handled by Union Solidarity International (USI), a UK-based not-for-profit company that builds networks of trade unions and progressive activists around the world, promoting their causes through the use of new media. Together with Unite the Union, USI donated the seed funding that made the production of the film possible.

See also: Scientists and human rights campaigners condemn the reinstatement of Provision 39A allowing forced HIV testing of suspected sex workers, drug users and undocumented migrants - See more at: http://www.hivjustice.net/news/greece-scientists-and-human-rights-campaigners-condemn-the-reinstatement-of-provision-39a-allowing-forced-hiv-testing-of-suspected-sex-workers-drug-users-and-undocumented-migrants/

Further reading

Latest cases and news can be found at: http://www.hivjustice.net/site/news/?country=87&from-month=-1&from-year=-1&to-month=-1&to-year=-1

Edwin J Bernard and Sally CameronAdvancing HIV Justice 2: Building momentum in global advocacy against HIV criminalisation. HIV Justice Network and GNP+. Brighton/Amsterdam, April 2016. http://www.hivjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AHJ2.final2_.10May2016.pdf

Greece reintroduces forced HIV testing. Henriette Jacobsen, EurActive. Com, Jul 12, 2013. http://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/greece-reintroduces-forced-hiv-testing/

Ζoe Mavroudi (2013). RUINS. Chronicle of a witch-hunt. Documentary.  Online (Subtitles: English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish). http://ruins-documentary.com/en/

Director’s Statement – Ζoe Mavroudi, September 8, 2013. http://ruins-documentary.com/en/directors-statement/

Human Rights Watch (2 April 2015). Dispatches: Greece Repeals Abusive Health Regulation. APRIL 2, 2015 6:40PM EDT, Dispatches: Eva Cosséhttps://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/02/dispatches-greece-repeals-abusive-health-regulation

Greece reintroduces forced HIV testing. Henriette Jacobsen, EurActive. Com, Jul 12, 2013. http://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/greece-reintroduces-forced-hiv-testing/

Cases

Overview

From the end of April 2012, sex workers in Greece were forced to be tested by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEEL). (Note that the was repealed for the first time in May 2013 and for second time 2 April 2015). According to Kathimerini news, the police  uploaded photos of 12 sex workers onto their website www.hellenicpolice.gr. Those who are tested HIV positive are to face a prosecutor on charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm, a felony. Source: http://www.change.org/petitions/to-mr-lucas-papademos-prime-minister-of-greece-stop-the-forced-testing-and-outing-of-sex-workers Eventually, most of the women were acquitted of all charges. Source: Human Rights Watch (2 April 2015). Dispatches: Greece Repeals Abusive Health Regulation. APRIL 2, 2015 6:40PM EDT, Dispatches: Eva Cossé. https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/02/dispatches-greece-repeals-abusive-health-regulation and Greece: Last five HIV+ women arrested in police sweep operation released. Zoe Mavoudi, March 12, 2013http://usilive.org/greece-last-five-hiv-women-arrested-in-police-sweep-operation-released/

In March 2010 a Thessaloniki court found a 42-year-old man guilty of "bodily injury through serial negligence" and "violation of measures imposed by the authority responsible for the spread of disease from deliberate negligence" because he unknowingly donated HIV-positive blood that ultimately resulted in the infection of several blood recipients. The court stated that the man – who was undiagnosed at the time – was culpable because he had not disclosed that he had previously had sex with a sex worker. He was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment, suspended for three years. In March 2010 a Thessaloniki court found a 42-year-old man guilty of "bodily injury through serial negligence" and "violation of measures imposed by the authority responsible for the spread of disease from deliberate negligence" because he unknowingly donated HIV-positive blood that ultimately resulted in the infection of several blood recipients. The court stated that the man – who was undiagnosed at the time – was culpable because he had not disclosed that he had previously had sex with a sex worker. He was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment, suspended for three years. Source: Athens News Agency Thessaloniki: sentencing 42 year-old donor infected a one year-old girl with the AIDS virus. 9 March, 2010 cited in UNAIDS (February 2012). Criminalisation of HIV Non-Disclosure, Exposure and Transmission: Background and Current Landscape. Background Paper, Revised Version. http://files.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/document/2012/BackgroundCurrentLands...

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017