Antifascist Greek protesters say they were tortured by police

Antifascist protesters in Greece who were arrested during a clash with members of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party/gang say they were tortured by the police, who put out cigarettes on them, tased them, beat them, and threatened to provide their names and addresses to Golden Dawn revenge squads. The Guardian's Maria Margaronis reports:

Several of the protesters arrested after the first demonstration on Sunday 30 September told the Guardian they were slapped and hit by a police officer while five or six others watched, were spat on and "used as ashtrays" because they "stank", and were kept awake all night with torches and lasers being shone in their eyes.

Some said they were burned on the arms with a cigarette lighter, and they said police officers videoed them on their mobile phones and threatened to post the pictures on the internet and give their home addresses to Golden Dawn, which has a track record of political violence.

One of the two women among them said the officers used crude sexual insults and pulled her head back by the hair when she tried to avoid being filmed. The protesters said they were denied drinking water and access to lawyers for 19 hours. "We were so thirsty we drank water from the toilets," she said.

One man with a bleeding head wound and a broken arm that he said had been sustained during his arrest alleged the police continued to beat him in GADA and refused him medical treatment until the next morning. Another said the police forced his legs apart and kicked him in the testicles during the arrest.

Greek anti-fascist protesters 'tortured by police' after Golden Dawn clash

See also: The Golden Dawn


    1. I didn’t get the reference til I found this:
      Did You Know?

      The movie is based on the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis. On May 22, 1963, Lambrakis was attacked and struck on the head (in the same manner depicted in the film) by right-wing extremists after giving an anti-war speech in Thessaloniki. He died of brain injuries from the attack on May 27, 1963. Following Lambrakis’s assassination, a military junta of right-wing generals seized control of the Greek government in 1967. During this time, the letter Z (meaning “He is alive”) became a common piece of protest graffiti in Greek cities, in memory of Lambrakis and his democratic ideals. The military junta banned the use of the letter “Z” as graffiti, in response to these protests. The Greek junta collapsed in 1974, following a disastrous invasion of Cyprus by Turkey (which led to the occupation of almost half Cyprus by the Turkish army), and democracy was restored to Greece. In the film, the Examining Magistrate (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) is in reality Christos Sartzetakis, who later served as President of the Hellenic Republic (1985-1990).

  1. Considering some of the rumours I’ve heard coming out of Greece lately, I find this sadly, unsurprising.  Rumours such as the police directing members of the public to far right hate groups for protection due to a lack of resources.

    Makes one wonder how much of a slippery slope to fascism these austerity cuts will create… 

    1. Given the last time an Austrian with a toothbrush mustache came to power in Germany, i really do fear the potential end point…

    2. In unrelated news, the hard right is pushing austerity wherever it can, and refusing to acknowledge that the austerity is exacerbating the fiscal crisis its meant to solve. After all, who cares about the economy, when there’s a once-in -a-lifetime opportunity to restore social democratic Europe to its fascist glory?

    3. There’s no slippery slope.  It’s a direct line from austerity to disaster.  Did we learn absolutely nothing from WWI?

  2. History does tend to repeat itself. Crippling recessions get Nazis elected. I hope Greece nips this in bud before it grows out of hand.

    1. As an EU citizen, European Union has a responsibility to help them socially. the so called bailouts was simply money shuffling, bailout billions goes in, unsecured investors take ‘different’ money of the same amount out. people left with crippling socialised debt. all under the eye of the most left political party. backlash is to vote in a load of skinheads, police have always followed their paychecks, but these reports are indeed disturbing.

      Getting to the core of the global economic crisis is to track the debt to the unsecured senior bondholders who are liable and make them homeless. otherwise this is only the tip of the iceberg.

      In Ireland the socialised debt is 150% GDP, The policy to continue to borrow, pay 1bn euro every 6 months to unsecured bondholders, while leaving the elderly and disabled to rot, having gutted the social security and public health budget. Because of this Sinn Fein are gonna clean up in the next general election.

      1. This is correct except for “all under the eye of the most left political party.”  The “most left” political parties in Greece (Syriza being the currently dominant one) reject austerity.  The current majority party is right-wing and (need we say?) supports austerity.

        1. Like every other right wing party around the world, they back increase “security” spending but crippling cuts and privatization on just about anything else.

        1. I think you’ll find Schadenfreude (pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others) was/is brought to the world not necessarily by Europeans, but by a subset of all humanity, regardless of race, nationality or creed, which are commonly referred to as… *glances at ioksototeaterofsouls*… assholes!

          1. tsk-tsk Sticks and stones, spacedoggy. If the worst thing we could expect from thugs was “assholes!” pacifism would make perfect sense.

    1. Do you enjoy mocking torture survivors? Do you enjoy mocking people who oppose violence?

      It sounds like you ought to reconsider your approach to life.

      1. I think its brave but stupid to oppose torture (which is terrible) with pacifism. I feel so strongly about it that if you tried to torture me (to make me reconsider my approach to life for example) I would smash your skull in. Some have tried to torture me in the past but they didn’t get very far. See how how it works?  

        1. Smashing your torturer’s skull is indeed a great way to deal with torture.  What do the rest of us who’re not superman do?

          1. One word: Solidarity. Failing that you can get on the cattle cars when instructed along with the other pacifists. That’s why fascists like you guys so much. 

            While we’re on the subject, heard about any black blockers getting tortured by the greek pigs? Ever wonder why not?

          2. Black Blockers…or really people who call themselves Black Blockers — poser assholes.

            I’ve heard reports of these self-labelled B-Blockers having the shit kicked out of them in Seattle — with whiny, lawyery, well-healed-parentsy results. 

            Really, they were causing riots by acting violently – destroying property, attacking police, then leaving, quickly using predetermined escape routes – independent of the alleged agent-provocateurs. 

            And I’ve seen them (some were so-called friends) First-Hand in Eugene Oregon with the same results. Amusing way to spend time-off from a first-tier university and lots of stories to impress their fellows once established.

            The trustafarian (and their hanger-ons) so-called ‘Black-Block’ mostly seem to be idlers and their play-acting is extremely damaging.  They’ve kinda wrecked the Peace-Core and…ok I stop.

          3. While we’re on the subject, heard about any black blockers getting tortured by the greek pigs?

            Wait, the fascist wanna-bes are supposed to protect us from the fascists proper?  I’m not sure you’ve really thought this out.

    2.  What pacifists?  None are mentioned in either the post nor the linked article. 
      Why do you call them pacifists?  Why not bronies or terrorists? 

      1. LOL. I misread “antifacist” in the title as “pacifist”. My bad (I work nights).   My main point stands even if it is less relevant to this instance. Fascist cops torture people. It’s what they do. It’s what they love to do. Ask all of Occupy. If you are a pacifist fundamentally committed to non-violence don’t expect special treatment from fascist cops.    

        1. No, your “main point” fails completely.  You have no main point.  You didn’t read the article carefully and yet still felt entitled to spout off on it.  Don’t keep trying to have the last word when you made an ass of yourself with the first word. 

        2. so you were under the impression that pacifists were involved in street fights with fascists? it’s never a surprise that fascists (in that many greek pigs are literally ideologically fascist) torture people. this is war.

          1. Beatin’ a dead horse there, ioksototeaterofsouls’s “I read it wrong, but I’m really right anyway” post is a close to an apology as you’ll ever see on the internet.

  3. I think this might finally be a discussion where nazi comparisons are entirely apt, this reads to a terrifying degree like depictions of Germany in the 30’s.

    1. No kidding. Reading the history of the Golden Dawn party is like reading the history of the Nazis in the 1920s. But it isn’t coincidental since the Golden Dawn party is a neo-Nazi party. They have it all: the ominous party banner that reminds me of the Nazi version of the swastika, the calls to protect “our race”, the violence, and slogans like “so we can rid this land of filth”. They don’t have the uniforms yet, but I’m sure that will come.

      1. What they probably don’t have is the potential to weild the power the Nazi’s did. And even if they did good luck getting America World Cop ™ to do anything about it. (Unless they allie with a Pacific power that bombs a certain island.)
        On a serious note calling these people police is a disrespect to the profession. These are thugs with a state paycheck.

  4. There are so many Americans who would happily behave this way, to whom everybody on the left is a gay communist Muslim atheist terrorist.  They think shooting Gabby Giffords was just a good start.  There are also powerful forces in the media working to make these opinions legitimate.  Did we fight WWII for nothing?

      1. In a sense, the the USA did not take sides against the fascists; the fascists took sides against the USA.

  5. Honestly at this point, is anyone surprised about police brutality happening anywhere?  It’s sad, but saying stuff like “we’re being tortured by the police” is like saying “grass is green” these days.  What makes it worse is that we all know it will only get worse from here.

  6. Does Canada have one of these elite ‘squads’ ??  Cuz any country that DOES, their people should be worried..  just saying. 

    Groups like that should not exist in a democracy, or whatever is the current push these days.  Hard to pretend you are a free human when you got that brutality on the government tit.

    1. i don’t know that there are specific squads, but canada has ideologically motivated “anti-environmentalist,” etc. pigs, just like everywhere else.

  7.  How entertaining. I’m glad to see that the order restoration unit sticks to its principles. At least you can never accuse them of inconsistency. But it is natural. The government attempts to pass measures that cripple the economy and destroy lives. People protest and other people turn to the fascists. I’m assuming the ones that protest rather than break the heads of “filthy immigrants” are a little more irksome.
    We may as well “restore order”.

    On an unrelated note, this type of behaviour legally counts as systematic torture, which is a felony that is punishable with up to 20 years in prison (courtesy of our historical context), and immediate dismissal of the accused from the corps with the beginning of the prosecution (the accused is automatically reinstated if he is acquited of the charges).
    Unfortunately I sincerely doubt the case will even reach a prosecutor in the first place. They will just dismiss it. I know that the Greek media only published part of the story after guardian did its article, and even now they are deleting all comments that are not favorable to the unit and its practices.

    And this kind of practice is quite novel itself. They always assaulted people to arrest them (hence why the leftist parties call for the disbandment of the unit) coming as far as to deafen a reporter for life with a flashbang only a year or so ago. But they never dared actually torture them when in custody. Glad to see we finally passed that barrier. Greece as a modern, civilised, free and democratic country was rather overrated anyway.
    And if we are to fall apart to barbarism we may as well do it right.

  8. IIRC, the Paris Police mostly supported the Nazi occupiers, more than a few enthusiastically (while the Mail Carriers were crucial to the Resistance.)

  9. Just one thing: Don´t think for a second that the local police force will act any differently when shit hits the fan wherever you live.

  10. I guess Greece, like the rest of us, should have done what Iceland did: prosecute bank fraud, and refuse to pay down banker’s gambling debts. Instead, they are run by banking technocrats and they get fascism. 

    It should be noted that corporatism – the kind that allows a 1000% return rate on corporate lobbying – is the essence of fascism. Neo-nazi thugs give it it’s social face and social agenda (racism, sexism, violence, inbreeding) but the political economic fundamentals spring entirely from institutional corruption in government, finance, etc. Like the UK or the US, Greece is not run for the benefit of the people but for the benefit of finance.

    Whatever moral judgement we heap upon the Greeks for getting in this mess, however ill managed their government, we have to remember all of us got here by bailing out the banks, and every one is going down from the massive fraud in the US/UK financial sector leading to global finance going bankrupt in 2008. 

    Pardon the length – one angle being missed – Greece has an immigration problem: they have to deal with the majority of the EU’s immigration, due to geography and rules that say an illegal immigrant in Scotland, for example, must be returned to the point of entry: usually Greece. This means huge numbers of EU’s refugees are stuck in Greece. EU needs to create fairer, realistic rules.

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