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Transgender women sue policemen for harassment

18 July 2013 / 20:07:04  GRReporter
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Representatives of the transgender community in Thessaloniki have filed a complaint of police violence and there has been an avalanche of reports on illegal arrests of transgender persons since the beginning of the year.

"This is a very targeted harassment of transgender people who are being arrested for no particular reason in the city centre," states Marina Galanou, head of the union for the protection of transgender persons, for 'Editors’ Newspaper' and gives a few examples of harassment of this social group.

In one of the cases, the police had arrested a transgender woman who had stopped at a petrol station in the city centre to fill her car petrol tank. In another incident, the police had forced a transgender woman to pull off the road while waiting for the green traffic light at a central crossing. The officers had taken her identity card and said that they would take her to the local police station for verification. When the victim asked what was the reason for her arrest, the policemen told her, "Shut up or we will apprehend you for attempted assault on a policeman."

The arrest of a victim during a meeting of transgender persons in Thessaloniki is another of the examples given by Galanou. The woman had gone to buy cigarettes and a little later the head of the union received a phone call from the police station, informing her that the particular representative of her organization was arrested, without explaining what her offence was.

So far, seven members of the union have filed a legal complaint of harassment whereas the number of officially registered cases of police harassment is 25. The charges are mainly against representatives of the police units "DELTA" and "DIAS" who should assume responsibility for charges of illegal arrests, harassment, violations of human rights and abuse of power.

The union insists on considering the cases as a demonstration of homophobia and racism based on the Criminal Code which regulates hate crimes. According to the website, dozens of motorized policemen had attacked a group of transgender people in the region of Vardar in Thessaloniki on Wednesday night this week. In protest, the transgender women lay down on the street to show that they would not respond to the police violence.

Tags: SocietyTransgender personsPolice harassmentThessaloniki
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