Greek police accused of brutality after capturing one other little one



Anger at a 16-year-old boy who was shot within the head by Greek police on Monday after strolling away from a gasoline station with out paying has put the highlight again on alleged police brutality within the nation.

The capturing is the newest in a protracted string of controversial incidents and comes a yr after one other younger Roma man was killed close to the port of Piraeus, additionally following a police chase.

Because the 16-year-old boy fought for his life in hospital after the capturing, his members of the family clashed with police within the second metropolis of Thessaloniki and protesters in a while Monday night time threw petrol bombs.

Police say they opened fireplace on {the teenager} to forestall the pickup truck he was driving from hitting officers on bikes as he tried to flee.

The capturing comes as protests might be held in a number of Greek cities on Tuesday to commemorate the loss of life of one other teenager, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, who was shot useless by police in 2008.

And final month, cellphone footage taken from a balcony in Athens confirmed riot police beating a gaggle of Aris Thessaloniki soccer followers, apparently with out provocation.

– Rape in police station –

In October, a 19-year-old lady accused two officers of raping her inside a police station in Athens.

The anger grew when a lawyer representing one of many officers, who’s free pending trial, stated the alleged sufferer had “flirted” with the suspects and so they had “succumbed to the woman’s fantasy”.

Regardless of rising concern over police conduct and obvious impunity, the nation’s leaders look like attempting laborious to minimize the issue.

Lefteris Oikonomou, the nation’s deputy minister of citizen safety, insisted final month that the Greek police have been “ruled by democratic ethics, respect for human rights and are near residents”.

And final yr after the primary younger Roma man was killed, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stood as much as the criticism.

“The police are merely doing their job,” he instructed Mega TV. “In fact there may be very vital room for enchancment … with extra coaching, transparency and media.”

However in September Greek bar associations complained of a “regular enhance in circumstances of police violence” and stated even attorneys have been being focused.

The Greek Ombudsman’s workplace – the impartial physique tasked with defending residents’ rights – stated it obtained greater than 300 new complaints of police abuse final yr, a 17 % enhance over 2020.

In lots of circumstances, the impartial authority discovered that inner police investigations “failed to seek out key witnesses, together with forensics, or adequately assess medical findings” or different proof of alleged abuse.

– ‘Hooded Robocops’ –

The Ombudsman’s report additionally revealed that migrants have been “systematically” focused by police, that unlawful use of weapons and beatings have been usually “hush-hush” and that officers routinely confirmed “disdain” when referred to as to testify in courtroom.

Of the almost 140 circumstances of police violence and brutality investigated final yr, solely 22 resulted in sanctions, based on the report.

Greek police didn’t reply to AFP’s questions on the difficulty.

READ ALSO: Greece marginalizes gays, Roma and migrants – report

In a 2019 incident that shocked Greece, police raided the house of award-winning movie director Dimitris Indares in a pre-dawn raid to evict a squatter subsequent door.

Indares stated the “hooded robocops” beat him and his two sons after they did not catch the squatters.

Outrage over the incident, which was filmed, prompted the formation of a particular investigative committee, which included senior officers.

He reported alarming ranges of police “impunity” in Greece.

– “extraordinarily poor” coaching –

Nikos Alivizatos, one of many nation’s main authorized specialists who headed the committee, instructed AFP that police coaching is “extraordinarily poor”.

“Police trainers themselves want retraining,” he stated.

Within the trial that final month acquitted director Indares and his youngsters of resisting arrest, the state prosecutor acknowledged that the household was subjected to “blind, crude and arbitrary police violence.”

In an identical case offered to the Ombudsman, a person arrested after a protest in 2019 stated he was taken to a police station “bruised and limping”.

Riot police had kicked and overwhelmed him with batons, stripped him to his underwear and slammed his head in opposition to a wall, he stated.

READ ALSO: Migrant teams denounce ‘witch hunt’ as Greece tightens grip

Greece’s police have lengthy struggled to come back to phrases with their function within the nation’s seven-year dictatorship, notably their function in a brutal 1973 crackdown on college students in Athens that killed greater than 20 individuals.

In 1992, the then prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis – the daddy of the present prime minister – prompted a stir by telling the police “you’re the state”, which was interpreted as giving them license to do as they happy.

Ioannis Ktistakis, a Greek choose on the European Court docket of Human Rights, instructed Parliament in March that Greece had obtained almost 950 rights-related convictions on the courtroom over the previous 30 years.

He was discovered responsible 13 instances final yr, one of many highest charges within the EU.

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