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Greece: Golden Dawn party accused of organizing racist blood drive

The far-right Golden Dawn party is organizing a blood drive--but you have to be Greek to donate.

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Members of the 'Golden Dawn' nationalist group hold a copy of the Greek sixth-grade history book before burning it, while protesting in Athens during the celebrations of the Greek Independence Day. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

The far-right Golden Dawn party is accused of organizing a racist blood drive. The party is trying to get Greeks to donate blood exclusively to other Greek-born citizens. The party said it has enough blood to run its own blood bank at a state hospital. "All the bottles of blood we collect will be handed over to patients we choose and to no one else," the party said in a statement, Reuters reported. "This right to choose belongs not just to Golden Dawn members, but to all volunteer blood donors."

Except they don't actually have that right. Health officials said that organizing a blood bank that practices discrimination would be illegal. "This would be inhuman. If someone needs blood, he or she should have every right to get it no matter who they are," a health ministry official told Reuters.

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And a major doctors' union in Athens said the plan is “insane, unscientific, illegal and racist action,” the Greek Reporter reported. But the plan comes at a time when the Golden Dawn party has seen unprecedented popularity. The party won 18 seats in the Parliament based on its campaign to get rid of all immigrants in Greece. Golden Dawn Party members have been tied to many attacks on immigrants, the Greek Reporter said.

Human Rights Watch told the Agence France-Presse that it interviewed 59 people who were victim to a xenophobic incident the past three years in Greece. “Xenophobic violence is a pervasive, shocking and well-known fact,” Judith Sunderland, a researcher at the group, said at a news conference in Greece this week, according to the AFP. “We are not seeing an adequate response from the Greek state."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120713/greece-golden-dawn-party-does-blood-drive-greek-born-citizens-only