ongoing unrest in athens
Again serious riots by Roma in Greece – dozens of rioters shoot at police officers
Since a police officer is said to have shot a young Roma in the head during a police operation on Monday, there have been riots in Greece. In the area around Athens, rioters have now shot the officers with shotguns.
The violent wave of protests by Roma in Greece continues after four days. After a police officer is said to have shot a 16-year-old Roma in the head during a police operation on Monday night, there have been serious riots in the country – especially around the Greek capital Athens.
On Thursday evening there were riots against police officers in several places. Roma set fire to car tires and rubbish bins and threw stones. In the Athens suburb of Aspropyrgos, around 30 people shot at police officers with shotguns. One officer was slightly injured.
Greece: Police carry out large-scale raids
The police carried out raids in several Athens suburbs where Roma live on Thursday due to the serious riots of the past few days. 25 houses were searched and seven people arrested for violating the Narcotics Act. Police continued raids on Roma settlements in Athens suburbs on Friday morning. State broadcaster ERT reported that two people were taken into custody.
The President of the Greek Roma Association Ellan Passe, Vassilis Pantzos, called on people to stop the violent unrest. “Together with the leaders of the respective communities, we are trying to calm the charged mood across the country,” he told state broadcaster ERT on Friday morning. Condemn the riots, there is no justification for it. At the same time, Pantzos criticized the fact that police violence against the Roma had increased in recent years. The state must take action against this.
Accused police officer is brought before the magistrate
On Friday morning, the accused police officer testified before the magistrate in Thessaloniki, who is said to have shot the 16-year-old Roma in the head during a chase on Monday night. The youth has been in mortal danger ever since. In his previous statements, the police officer stated that he acted in self-defense. The 16-year-old repeatedly tried to ram the police motorcycles with his car. This was also described by another police officer involved. The police officer now accused wanted to protect his colleagues and shoot the tires after a warning shot in the air.
The lawyer for the critically injured Roma, on the other hand, states that he did not turn his car around to endanger the police officers. Instead, he tried to escape from the police and lost control of the vehicle.
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Numerous Roma gathered in front of the courthouse on Friday to protest against the police operation on Monday. The investigating judge and the public prosecutor disagreed on Friday afternoon as to whether the accused police officer would be held in custody or released for the time being. As the Greek television station Skai reports, the police officer will remain under house arrest until the competent judiciary council decides on his criminal treatment. He is accused of negligent homicide with possible intent.
Meanwhile, the authorities fear a further escalation, although the nature of the court decision on Friday is likely to have an impact on the extent. A police chief was seriously injured in riots in Athens on Monday.