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OMCT’s Press release

07.08.2007. Geneva
Greece: Trafficking legislation must be fully applied to a Nigerian victim

The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) welcomes the decision by the Deputy Prosecutor of the Appeals Court of Athens, Leonidas Lazarakos, to order the indictment of the two men who trafficked E.L. from Nigeria into Greece.
In May 2007, OMCT issued an urgent appeal on behalf of E.L., when her deportation was pending based on an order issued pursuant to the decision by the anti-trafficking First Instance Prosecutor to dismiss the criminal case against her traffickers. This decision came as a surprise since E.L.’s complaint provided extensive information on the men who had trafficked her and forced her into prostitution.
OMCT feared that if E.L. was returned to Nigeria she risked punishment that could amount to torture or ill-treatment, based on a probable condemnation for having unlawful sexual intercourse. She would also risk retaliation from other persons involved in her trafficking.
Greek legislation with regard to trafficking in persons is very favourable to victims. However, two months after the 1 June 2007 decision by the Appeals Prosecutor to sue E.L.’s traffickers, she still has not been granted victim status and can neither benefit from a residence permit nor from medical care and rehabilitation.
E.L. currently relies on a very unstable status as asylum seeker. Although her application has been deemed admissible in June, she could be denied asylum at any time and another deportation order could be issued against her.

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