Police brutality in Athens continues

Police brutality in Athens continues

This morning in the Athenian district of Koukaki, strong police forces went on to dismantle three occupied buildings, with the area’s residents reporting that a police raid took place at a nearby residence without a warrant. There were fierce reactions by the main opposition as well as by the President of the Commission assigned by the Government to conduct an investigation on any disciplinary misconducts from the Police.

As a woman living next door to the occupied building reports to a television channel, on Wednesday morning special police units asked her to access the roof terrace through her apartment. She and her husband, she notes, requested a warrant, which they did not have. A short time later armed policemen were found on the terrace, with her husband and their two sons complaining about it. This resulted to them being arrested, while she went on to report that they were beaten and threatened by some policemen.

Eventually the three men were called before the Directorate General of Police. The contradiction in the briefing provided by the Police is a cause for concern. “Police officers noticed them during the operation and -as they say- saw them react to the operation”, they initially reported. Later, however, an official communication from the Greek Police noted that the two young men were squatters and that the father attempted to grab the gun of one of the police officers.

Meanwhile, a shocking photo has become viral on social media, depicting a woman handcuffed with her hands behind her back on the roof with what looks like a black hood on her head; a photo disputed by the Police. This is yet the latest incident of police brutality in Greece.

Serious reactions

The Government’s downhill is disrupting social cohesion and peace, SYRIZA said in a statement. “Mr. Mitsotakis and Mr. Chrisochoidis are solely responsible for the endless police atrocities against civilians and especially the youth, since they allow them to operate “with their hands untied”, SYRIZA points out, speaking of violations of basic human rights. SYRIZA’s spokesman stressed this was a case of family asylum dismantling.

The intervention of Professor N. Alivizatos, who has been appointed head of the Commission to investigate the possibility of disciplinary misconduct by the Police, turned heads. In a letter, he calls on the Minister for Citizen Protection to order an official inquiry without ruling out his resignation from the Commission; however, he underlines that he will not be resigning today, as he believes “in its usefulness”.

“This morning, Units for the Reinstatement of Order (MAT) entered an adjacent residence without a warrant and savagely abused a father and his two sons. This happened on the pretext that they did not allow the police units to use their private property without presenting a warrant”, he notes, adding that the committee “cannot become an alibi in practice for such unacceptable behavior”. There were no acts of violence by the police, was the Minister’s response to N. Alivizatos.

“The main opposition is completely ignorant. We told the people that we would enforce law and order. We said no more “Exarchia State”. The far-left State and its violence are over. And we made all those things happen; we have received the direct approval of the people. This is a change of ideological pattern”, Minister for Rural Development and Food Makis Voridis stated while addressing the Parliament, backing up the “order and security” doctrine.

MEPs on police violence in Greece

33 MEPs from 3 political groups (Social-Democrats, GREENS/EFA and the left GUE/NGL Eurocommittee) in Greece penned a letter to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Michalis Chrisochoidis and the leadership of the Greek Police, calling for investigations to be conducted on all incidents of violence, as well as for safeguarding that the Greek Police operate according to Law. /ibna