Demonstrations against police violence in Greece with strong riots in Athens | Mundua

Incidents in the Greek capital after a demonstration against the latest police attacks that took place on Tuesday. (Louisa GOULIAMAKI | AFP)

A massive protest against police brutality led to a pitched battle in Athens on Tuesday between protesters and police, in which several people were injured.

The altercations took place in the Nea Smyrni district, where more than 5,000 people marched to the police station to denounce the multiple police attacks experienced in recent days.

Protesters carried banners with the phrase “It hurts!”, the cry a young man repeatedly uttered last Sunday as he was brutally assaulted by an officer, an event that outraged many in the Hellenic country.

“The pandemic does not stop at repression” or “Police out of our neighborhoods” were other demands that could be read on the banners of a march that began peacefully and ended in violence on both sides.

Some protesters burned containers and threw Molotov cocktails at the police station. The police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.

According to Greek media, an officer was seriously injured, allegedly after being beaten while alone. Some media also report an injured photojournalist.

A walk with the children ends in blows

On Sunday, the events in Nea Smyrni began when several officers fined two families with children who were walking down the street for no reason, accusing them of violating covid-19 containment measures, despite the fact that they wore a mask and had sent the Mandatory Text message to warn of the move.

Some neighbors who saw what was happening protested and the officers attacked them with batons.

One of the videos taken by witnesses to the attack shows an officer using a collapsible metal truncheon, banned in Greece, as confirmed in statements to the MEGA network by a representative of the police union who called the event of “a disgrace for the whole population”. police.”

While a group of trade unionists claimed that the officers in question were “following orders from above”, the official position of the Police has been to deny the facts and ensure that the officers defend themselves from the attack. of a group of hooded men.

Another performance of “uncontrolled” recorded on video

The Minister of Citizen Protection, Mijalis Jrisojoidis, condemned the “unjustified violence” and promised an internal investigation, but a new incident recorded in Athens on Monday evening has continued to fuel citizen indignation.

In this video, taken from a balcony, several police officers on motorbikes are seen chasing young people protesting what happened in Nea Smyrni and stopping to destroy the headlight of a parked car for no apparent reason, which many think they have done to blame after crushing protesters.

The tension and violence have escalated since Friday, when police used water cannons and stun grenades to disperse some 300 people who were planning a demonstration in support of hunger striker Dimitris Kufondinas, one of the leaders of the disappeared armed group. November 17, whose state of health is very delicate.

Complaints increased by 75% in one year

What has happened these days has led the Athens Public Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into police brutality and generated a flood of criticism from the opposition.

Next Friday, the Prime Minister, the conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis, must answer a parliamentary question concerning the main leader of the opposition, Alexis Tsipras, his predecessor in office under the Syriza government.

Precisely, Mitsotakis debated this Tuesday the situation with the professor of constitutional law Nikos Alivizatos, who gave up the presidency of a commission charged with investigating police violence more than a year ago because, as he revealed yesterday there was “a lack of interest in the government to hold the culprit accountable.

For his part, the Ombudsman, Andreas Potakis, recently stated that last year the number of complaints of police violence increased by 75%.

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