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January 20, 2014
January 20, 2014

Greece: Trial on police violence postponed

Translator: Eleni Nicolaou
Source: TVXS  Category: Antifascism
This article is also available in: elfr
Greece: Trial on police violence postponed

After two and a half years, 18 police officers stand trial for the brutal crackdown of the massive demonstrations of the 29th of June 2011 against the bail-out. The violent pictures made it around the world. The police attacked protesters without any provocation, even within private spaces. In addition, they resorted to a chemical warfare using immeasurable tear gas, as denounced by all medical associations in the country. At least 500 people ended up in the hospital. On Monday, 18 men of the Delta Force and the riot police, including squad chiefs sat in court in Athens accused of perpetration and instigation. According to information, the trial was postponed for September 16th. A protest against police violence and repression was held outside the courts at noon Monday.

THE IMAGES OF SHAME

The orgy of repression of June 29th was spread throughout almost the whole centre of Athens. Even people eating in the restaurants of the area were attacked by the motorcycle police unit. Syntagma Square was drowned in chemicals. They were used, among others, even inside the tube station, where citizens had taken refuge in order to protect themselves, but also inside the Syntagma Square clinic from where the President of the Pharmaceutical Association of Attica made an appeal through speakers to immediately stop firing tear gas. Overall, about 3,000 tear gas canisters were fired while the General Police Directorate of Attica announcement reported 38 arrests and 75 detentions.

There was violent crackdown against demonstrators even within private spaces. A citizen denounced to tvxs.gr that the police, despite the protests of the residents, invaded a block of flats, where protesters had found refuge and hit, on the head, a man who was then transferred by ambulance to the hospital.

It should be reminded that the then police spokesperson spoke of “possible isolated incidents” and defended the onslaught of the riot police in the tube. In contrast, the President of the Panhellenic Federation of Police Officers declared: “I apologise to the citizens. This is a disgrace”.

THE ACCUSATIONS

The 16-page case file against the 18 police officers is particularly heavy. It is stated, among others, that the police, based on the means used against the demonstrators but also on the body parts injured (head and vital areas), could have endangered lives or inflict serious injuries. They were accused, among other things, of abandoning the injured helpless and preventing for a long period of time the ambulances from arriving to provide the first aid.

Furthermore, it is reported that the officers in charge ordered their subordinates “to make indiscriminate use of chemicals, asphyxiants and stun grenades onto the crowd of the protesters, thereby causing physical injury (fainting, shortness of breath, burns and injuries)”, “to take violent action using batons and causing bodily harm” but also “to throw sizeable stones and marbles against the crowd”. That is, the police officers were ordered to throw stones at protesters.

The case file includes photos of injured protesters, photos of the police beating protesters, photos of chemical grenades, certificates of hospitalisation in public hospitals, forensic medical reports, 3 DVDs from the place of events, the conclusion report of the General Police Directorate of Attica and newspaper publications.

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