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May 14, 2013
May 14, 2013

Greece: How many stitches can fit on a child’s face

Author: Anda Psarra Translator: annitagrn
Source: EfSyn  Categories: Antifascism, Borders
This article is also available in: eselfr
Greece: How many stitches can fit on a child’s face

The only purpose for posting the photo is to cause, even with delay, the reaction of the state, as well as of every civilised human being against this incident of extreme racist violence

The story of a fourteen-year-old Afghan child, who came to Greece with his mother seeking a better life, wanted to leave for Switzerland where his brother lives, but was prevented by storm troopers that engraved his life.

The result of a blind racist attack, thirty stitches on the face of a child. A fourteen-year-old child that did nothing than just exist, was the victim of a fierce Nazi punishment by storm troopers.

He had come to Greece with his mother and the dream to leave away from horror. The young Afghan was ready to set out with his mother for Switzerland, where his brother lives. Since the legal way does not allow a third world child to have such dreams, the only known way is to pay somebody in order to reserve the desirable plane seat.


The young boy was separated from his mother by the organizer of his escape, who had put them into separate groups for obvious reasons. The mother’s group got on the plane and left, while she was assured that the young boy had already been boarded in an earlier flight. Unluckily and for the umpteenth time, the boy was arrested and after being detained in the police station for 20 minutes he was released and took the Metro to leave. He returned to the house he had been staying with his mother and other Afghan refugee families in Athens.

In other words, they left a fourteen-year-old child unprotected, showing no consideration as to where he would go or how he had been separated from his family. As the boy was trying to find his bearings, he got off at the Attica Square Metro station last Monday at 5.30pm. After a while he realised that he was being followed and suddenly he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around and saw three young men in black.

“Their t-shirts had a stamp with two small laurel trees, joined at the bottom, with another symbol in the inside” according to the boy’s description. They asked him in Greek where he was from and they requested to show them his papers. After he told them that he was from Afghanistan one of them kicked him and the boy fell down. They smashed a beer bottle over his head, cutting his face.

The young boy covered in blood lost consciousness and a passer-by took him to the hospital. The doctors stitched him up, gave him a prescription and let him go.

Which means that the hospital and the doctors who treated him did not bother to ask where a young boy with 30 stitches on the face would go, beaten and intimidated. Was it because of the workload, due to fatigue or maybe indifference that made them leave the boy to his fate? In any case, “Evangelismos”, “Sismanoglio” and “Aglaia Kyriakou” hospitals were on duty that day and hour. The young boy, with all the money he had, bought the drugs from a pharmacy, but didn’t know how to use them, so he didn’t take them immediately. Fortunately, he had heard from another Afghan about the NGO Medecins du Monde (MdM) and he knew where their medical centre was in the centre of Athens. So he visited them two days later.

New hope

The boy was so wounded and intimidated that when doctors saw him they were left speechless, despite the fact that they deal with such incidents almost every day. They instantly gave him a treatment, informed the District Attorney’s Office for unaccompanied children and contacted his relatives in order to send all the necessary papers for the legal procedure of the family’s reunification. The child is now under the protection of the District Attorney’s Office and Medecins du Monde and perhaps the smile on his face betrays his new hope for a better life. He even expressed his optimism that he will soon meet with his mother and brother.

Now, we are expecting the next child, woman or man who will come across anonymous murderers dressed in black, while the Government ¾among others¾ will still be concerned about the provisions of the antiracist law and whether it should implement the international agreements that has signed. Until then, let’s hope that Medecins du Monde will keep up their heroic efforts and their caring for the vulnerable citizens, despite the threats they receive even to their own physical integrity.


Side story

During our visit to the Medecins du Monde for the fourteen-year-old boy’s story coverage, a former Greek prisoner showed up, clearly psychologically disordered, whose whole arm was trapped in a metallic system with screws sticking out. He had broken his arm while in prison and they had put a whole 30 cm metallic mechanism in order to recover it.

The man was released and nobody bothered to remove the mechanism from his arm. He had being wandering the streets for three months, dragging that burden, the wound was infected and came to the medical centre begging the doctors to remove the screws, even if they had to cut off his arm; the pain was unbearable.

John hang in there; cause we can’t after seeing you dragging that arm of yours.

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