Only a day after the Human Rights Watch released a scathing report on Greece, accusing the country of failing to comply with European laws and regulations regarding illegal immigrants and asylum seekers and, in certain cases, of expelling them from the country, Greece has once again come under the spotlight.
Human rights activists, friends and relatives accuse the Greek police of being responsible for the death of a Pakistani immigrant, prompting a coroner to conduct a second autopsy on the body of a 27-year-old man who died on October 9 at his home in Nikaia, in Piraeus, south of Athens, the Greek Kathimerini reported on October 14, 2009.
Allegedly, Muhammad Kamran Atif died at home, about a week after his release from custody. He had been apprehended by officers because of a knife attack involving him and other Pakistanis in Athens.
The ensuing autopsy report indicated that Atif had died of a swelling of the lungs, the exact cause of which was still a mystery. Friends and relatives, however, believe the swelling was caused by "a severe beating and, possibly, electric shocks".
Greek police categorically deny any such mistreatment.
The HRW organisation demanded on October 13 2009 that Greece's newly elected Pasok government comply with European laws for immigrants and asylum seekers and cease illegally expelling asylum seekers across the Evros River into Turkey.
Greece is criticised for flouting European laws and procedures but also accused of exposing people to the risk of ill-treatment, both in the country itself, and - once its authorities physically expel the immigrants from its territory - by creating resentment with the authorities in Turkey.
"Greece should guarantee access for all migrants to the asylum procedure, and restore a meaningful appeals process," the report says.