On the 6th April, a 23 year old woman was brutally beaten in Νέα Μάκρη by a member of the Golden Dawn. She was found collapsed on the road just outside her home with severe head injuries and rushed to the nearby Red Cross Hospital, but such is the condition of healthcare in Greece that there were no beds available and she was turned away. Her parents then transferred her to the intensive care unit in a private hospital, as there were no beds available in any of the ICU units in the public hospitals. Her parents, unable to afford the private healthcare, appealed to others to contribute to saving her life. Yesterday, Faye Bachla, who has alternately been described as a “doll” and a “beauty” in the mainstream press, died from her injuries. Initial reports suggested she was found by her sister and that the perpetrator was unknown, however a more worrying picture emerged later.
The woman had been at home with her family and had left the house following a call from the perpetrator, who she had been in a relationship with for a few months. Bachla refused to leave the house alone, taking her sister and a friend with her to meet the man, indicating that she was already fearful of him. He then beaten her severely, in the presence of her two companions . The police confirm that they played no role in the attack, but were later arrested for lying to the police.
Given the level of violence perpetrated by members of the Golden Dawn , and threats that family members of other victims of the Golden Dawn have received when reporting violence attacks against women, and indeed the violence that the witnessed which killed their friend and sister, fear may well have played a part in any cover-up that they participated in.
It turns out that she was right to be wary of him, particularly given his history. The perpetrator had been arrested after he had attacked and beaten a 31 year old member of the KKE (Greek Communist Party) on the eve of the elections at election booth in the square of Αγια Παρασκευη last June. Accompanied by an aggressive dog, he attacked the man, hitting him on the head with a metal bar. The charges were dropped.
Despite the arrest of the couple who witnessed the shocking attack, the police were completely unable to find the perpetrator, even although he turned up at the private hospital where as she lay in a coma, her breathing facilitated by a ventilator. The police have refused to release his name or anything that may identify him. Even though his name is known to the press, they are withholding it, with some websites suggesting that they are afraid of the repercussions from Golden Dawn should they publicly identify him
This brutal murder is likely to be dismissed as “a domestic” rather than as a political crime, but the declared position of Golden Dawn which states that “they are aware of the destruction that feminism has brought to our time and oppose any declarations of gender equality” belies this. For fascism is an ideology which is not only racist but deeply misogynistic. Although the perpetrator may have been known to the woman, and indeed possibly still in a relationship with her, the underlying fascist philosophy of women as the property of men, for sexual services and breeding purposes fuels the misogynistic rage that leads to such events with the backdrop of a country which turns a blind eye to violence against women.
This was as much a political murder as that of Shehzad Luqman, in a country which locks up the victims of sexual violence – publicly parading their names and photographs on the police website, unlike in the case of a brutal murderer – all providing the perpetrators of the violence against them with sympathetic telephone counselling; who cannot prosecute a known rapist of several women, because the prosecutor is “too busy” being a “radical” Syriza MP and presumably “too busy” to pass the case onto someone who can, nor launch an effective investigation into an acid attack on a union organiser who was attacked following death threats, preferring to write off her case as “a crime of passion” rather than an organised attempted murder of a skilled and active trade unionist
Forty women have been murdered through sexual violence in the last five years in Greece going by the official figures. Given the sheer scale of trafficking, brothel slavery and undocumented migrants in the country the true figure is likely to be far higher. Last month the minister of the interior announced
Today, violence is the biggest threat to the lives of women. It threatens them more than diseases, such as cancer and everything negative which a woman may face
Theodora Tzakri, Deputy Minister of the Interior
Its just as well that cancer isn’t the biggest killer of women. No drugs are available in pharmacies after pharmaceutical companies refused to continue to supply them as a result of unpaid bills , and chemotherapy is only available under private insurance, an alternate form of structural violence. But the victims of misogynistic violence fare no better. Even when beaten with head injuries so severe that they require immediate and urgent medical attention, no bed in an intensive care unit in a public hospital can be found, because the crisis in healthcare is so big, so deep and so wide that it is simply collapsing under the strain.
So what did they do to combat what they had identified as the biggest threat to the lives of women?
They opened a fucking telephone line, just like the one instantly given to perpetrators of violence against the women who spent months in gaol for the crime of being their victims. The perpetrator of this murder may be a member of the Golden Dawn, but the Greek State is deeply complicit in the circumstance which led to her death and the deaths of many other women who fall victim to the same combination of misogynistic violence and lack of healthcare, while their focus is on protecting the perpetrators.