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live Journalists beaten in Syntagma

05 April 2012 / 20:04:28  GRReporter
2561 reads

Victoria Mindova

Riot forces attacked journalists in the square in front of the Greek parliament, where people gathered to commemorate the 77-year-old pensioner who killed himself yesterday. Without any apparent reason, a police officer started shouting at journalists, "I ​​cannot stand you anymore!" A colleague of his hit a photographer on the head with a baton. A journalist from the national television ERT was hit too.

The incidents began when the police tried to isolate a group of about 30 anarchists. Journalists tried to escape the police ambush by showing their press cards and instead of helping them, the police officers started beating them.

Unlike other protests, this time the police demonstrated particular brutality for no apparent reason. The protest was peaceful; there were no extremes and Molotov bombs or group attacks by anarchists. However, due to the inappropriate behaviour of some of the officers from the riot forces, the end of the protest was grotesque.

After they were ordered to free Amalias Avenue from protesters, police cordons began vigorously pushing the people toward the centre of the garden in Syntagma Square. There was panic. A large group of people rushed to Vassileos Georgiou Street to avoid the steps to the garden that were already in the dark at nine in the evening and thgus a potential source of injury.

Police cut off the area around the parliament and refused to let journalists and ordinary citizens behind the cordons, when stones began flying at the police from the bottom of the square. A group of about thirty people was caught in a trap between flying pieces of pavement and police cordons. "Stop pushing us," shouted a young girl. In response, one of the police officers pushed her with his protective shield. A group of people rushed to him and shouted, "You have begun beating women! Shame on you!"

At this point, a police officer who was the most aggressive screamed, "Get out of here, all of you! Go down!" There was pushing, blows and bustle. Then, Marios Lolos was holding his head with a dark stare. A colleague of his was holding him on the left side, trying to help him to come to. Mario was hit on the head with a baton while trying to step away, with his back to the police cordon. Two other journalists were slightly injured - a reporter from the state television ERT and a colleague from a private television media.

Another middle-aged woman rushed to them and shouted at the enraged police, "Don’t you have mothers, sisters? None of us is dangerous, what do you want?" Later, the same woman was crying on the sidewalk outside Grande Bretagne Hotel. Stranding next to her was a Red Cross volunteer who said for GRReporter, that one of the police officers had hit her head and pushed her to the ground. The woman had hurt her hand. While she was gathering herself up, she cried, "This is not democracy. Nothing that we are going through is normal. "

The developments in Syntagma on 5 April 2012 began as one or two police officers failed to keep their cool at the end of the protest. Some colleagues of theirs, were trying to protect the people from the "custodians" of order blinded by anger, but did not manage to. It remains to be seen whether there will be consequences of their behaviour.

Tags: Syntagma SquareGreek parliamentProtestsBeatingJournalistsRiot forcesPolice
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