Greek Police: A Job Well Done?

On Saturday, 2nd February, the English language version of  “Η Καθημερινη“, the most popular daily newspaper in Athens, carried an editorial praising the Hellenic Police force.  The article states…

..the police force has stepped up to the plate and shown that it is capable of doing its job properly despite the extremely adverse conditions… The way it has been operating also shows that its officers are working hard and with dedication.

Now, lets take a wee snapshot of what the police have been doing recently that could possibly have merited such high praise in such a popular newspaper.

On Friday, there was a bank robbery.   No, this time it wasn’t the banks doing the thieving  – unlike in May when they managed to aquire  €100 billion by dubious means, or the current blackmail swindle that they are participating in to embezzle 27.5 billion of public money against the wishes of a population rapidly sinking into poverty as their money is handed over by a corrupt klepocratic government.  This was on an altogether smaller scale, where 10 people held up two banks and escaped with only €200 thousand – a drop in the ocean of the bank theft which is currently going on in Greece.

Within hours, the Hellenic police had caught four suspects.  Remarkably quick work given their tardiness as catching other, more prolific individual bank robbers.  It has took them over three years to catch Lavrentis Lavrentiadis who stolen more than 600 million euros.  Even now he has not been charged, claiming that a repayment of 51 million euros, gave him immunity for prosecution.  Given that precedent you would think that the Hellenic police might just have asked the suspects if they could just hand bank twenty grand or so, and they would let bygones be bygones.  But no, in this case the Hellenic Police “stepped up to the plate”.

Images of suspects photoshopped to remove injuries

On Saturday, they released pictures of the arrested suspects – all young men aged between 20 and 24.  Whatever praise Η Καθημερινη may have for the Hellenic Police, it must repectfully suggested that they could do with a little training in the use of photoshop.  The Dendias, the Minister for Public Order claimed that it was necessary to digitally alter the photographs to make the suspects more recognisable.  When photographs of them, taken by reporters as they were being escorted to another building under police custody emerged, the meaning behind that statement became clear: they had been beaten out of all recognition.

The father of one of the young men, Dimitris Bouroukos, described this beating.

They handcuffed his hands behind his back and placed a hood  his head.  He was forced to kneel, then beaten around the head, face and stomach and had clumps of his hair torn out as the Greek police insulted and threatened him while he was helpless and unable to resist.

The result of this torture include blood in his urine, dizzy spells, headaches, facial swelling, black eyes, and bruising throughout his body. His face was unrecognisable as was his voice due to repeated blows to his jaw.

Yesterday, Dendias insisted that there would  be an investigation into the allegations that the suspects had been tortured.   Such allegations have been made before of course, and naturally followed by rapid response by the Public Order Minister.  In September fifteen anti-fascist protesters were tortured in police custody, Dendias moved swiftly as soon as the story broke to announce an investigation into who had been so impudent to make such allegations, threatening to sue the Guardian who had first reported it, while reporters in the Greek media who repeated the allegations were summarily fired.  No doubt there will be a similar investigation into such impudence in this case.

…for the Greek police are working hard and with dedication, after all, the Greek Press says so.

Pagani Concentration Camp

But that wasn’t all the Greek police were up to on Friday – they are busy little bees, you know.  That evening the Greek police spotted a man being willfully Black in a public place, a crime under the regime of Operation Zeus – where anyone who looks non-Greek can be summarily detained in one of the many concentration camps which have recently sprung up over Greece.

In these camps (pictured left) migrants are held 180 to a room filled with triple bunk beds and matresses on the floor with one toilet which “residents” are allowed to use twice a day.  Infested and filthy, there are no washing facilities either for basic sanitary hygiene, or for clothes, far less for bedding which is unchanged when a new person arrives.  It is no wonder that 37 year old Cheikh Ndiaye ran for his life.

The police chased the street vendor and father of two onto a railway bridge with no means of escape  – falling over the bridge to his death caused either but electrocution from the railway lines, or from the fall, which reports suggest may have been directly caused by a push from the police.  When people gathered at the railway station that evening – the police – ever sensitive to community relations and how murdering someone might be seen as bad public relations – responded by teargassing and beating everyone in the area.

Only marginally more lucky was Polina Kelempesioti, who is currently in intensive care in Nice, after a patrol car struck her having run a red light.  Currently, her family are looking for people who saw the accident, but as with many things involving the Greek police, the residents and shopkeepers who witnessed it are keeping mum

…for the Greek police does a fantastic job you see, the Greek Press says so.

On Saturday, there was a chance for the Hellenic Police Force to really shine – a demonstration by Chysti Avgi, who are implicated in several murders, stabbings and beatings throughout the capital was held in central Athens.  You might imagine that with so many of their members in one place at one time, the police might be able to pick up some of the suspects of the thousands of violent racist attacks that have occurred in Athens over the past few years, but it would seem not.

Once the spectacle was over, a cavalcade of fascists on motorbikes turned up in the Zografou suburb of Athens – smashing the windows of a social centre before going on to attack a local squat.  Thankfully supporters were on high alert for trouble after the gathering and around 500 were able to get to the area to defend the squat very rapidly.  Only just behind them were the Hellenic Police, who – remarkably and completely coincidentally – had managed to hear of the attack very quickly.  When the fascists were repelled and forced to leave the area sans-motorbikes, the police remained behind to guard the motorbikes of the violent attackers until they could be collected by a pick up truck several hours later.   It later turned out that such is the dedication of the Hellenic Police that they do not only violently attack squats in uniform, but even when off-duty, join with fascists to complete their work

…for the Greek police have remarkable dedication, the Greek Press will confirm it.

Over the weekend  – we have one man murdered, one woman left in intensive care, four men tortured, and a fascist off-duty police officer violently attacking a squat.  All this done under, what the Greek press describes as “extremely adverse conditions”.  

The thought of what the Greek Press would consider favourable conditions is chilling.





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