Amnesty International criticizes Greek police in wake of youth uprising

Amnesty International said in a media statement on March 30 that it is calling on Greek authorities to to address long-standing problems in policing in the wake of this year’s youth uprising. The briefing highlights patterns of alleged human rights violations by police against civilians, including excessive use of force and firearms, torture or other ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and denial of prompt access to lawyers.

“Time and again police officers in Greece have been accused of using excessive force against demonstrators or denying them their rights when in detention. The police response to the recent unrest is the culmination of an entrenched pattern of serious human rights violations by law enforcement officials,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia program director at Amnesty.

Since the end of the protests in January, Amnesty International has been receiving a mounting number of allegations of violations by police. The organization said it has brought a number of cases from Decembe and January to the attention of interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in which police officers were alleged to have arbitrarily arrested, ill-treated and detained peaceful protesters. The detainees, including minors, were often prevented from promptly contacting their lawyers.

“These incidents should be used as a catalyst by the government to launch a wide-ranging commission of inquiry that would investigate not only recent events but also systemic issues, including training of police on the use of firearms and of force,” Duckworth said. (Sofia Echo, March 30)

See our last post on the struggle in Greece.

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