In the past weeks, news regarding – “a recently discovered reality” from the Greek society got the attention of the international media . Indeed those “unprecedented” pictures and the shocking news, are the reports of the international media concerning the tortures of anti-fascist protesters who got arrested in Athens during a clash with supporters of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, few weeks ago in the central Police station of Athens. The arrested have reported that were tortured with “Taser”, a method which is considered dangerous for human life by the international amnesty and the UN or with cigarette lighters, torches and other.
The police officers who were involved with the incidents were taking photos, speaking on the phone with others describing what they do to the arrested. They were also threatened the victims that if they talk publicly, will post the photos on the internet and give their home addresses to the Golden Dawn. Even someone who is not very familiar with the Greek political situation, easily can make a connection of the Police officers with the Neo-nazis.
The news were widely spread-ed all around the western world, especially after an extended report by Guardian. The Greek mass media most likely, after being pressured by the international reports were forced to report the situation in the Police central station. That caused the anger of the Minister of public order Mr Dendias in a parliament speech refuting the media reports and threatening Guardian with a denunciation. But few days later, 8 different forensic pathologists confirmed the tortures. Mr Dendias and Police representatives since then seem to remain silent.
But are these circumstances a really new phenomenon? Are rarely happened?
It is perhaps essential to mention that tortures in the Police stations isn’t a really new situation. Since the collapse of the military dictatorship and the rise up of the 3rd Greek Democracy in 1974, someone could find several stories. But the number of these stories with no doubt was increased especially the last years. The Police station of Agios Panteleimonas is one of the police stations that according the mass media, evidence of tortures were reported. Most of the people were immigrants therefore nobody knows with certainty what really happened to them. The same with the police station of Omonia where someone can find youtube videos and an indymedia report in 2007. There were also many other incidents which rarely got some publicity in the Greek news. The public opinion was hardly informed about. Only a handful of circumstances and only after the initiatives, for instance of alternative blogs, websites or lawyers reached the mainstream the past years.
Most of times victims are afraid to talk openly about it. Some other times, the anarchist and antiauthoritarian movement organized solidarity and anti-repression campaigns. The profile of the Police violence’s victims though was in particular related to the anarchist scene and later on with the immigrant minorities.
Fear and loathing in Athens: the rise of Golden Dawn and the far right
or Golden Dawn and Police a true love story….
In austerity-ravaged Greece, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is on the rise. Their MPs give fascist salutes as well ashate speeches in the parliament characterizing minorities as “subhumans”, while on the streets black-shirted vigilantes beat up immigrants and leftists. Some of their most enthusiastic supporters are in the police who morally as well as practically facilitate the neo-nazis’s job. The latest example was the passive position of the Police where neo-nazis and christian fundamentalists were staged outside an Athens theatre over the staging of the play, Terence McNally’s Corpus Christi, which opponents viewed as blasphemous, on October 12, 2012. The neo-Nazi MP Pappas released an arrested person in front of the eyes of the Police.
According a new article of Guardian, an officer on the condition of anonymity spoke to the newsparer concerning this very crucial topic concerning the relations of Police with the Golden Dawn. He thinks that Police chefs had the opportunity to remove fascist elements out of the Police force, something that never happened obviously. He continues that Government and Police headquarters are probably planning to use this “fascist rising” within the Police for their own purposes in the future, if they don’t do that already. For instance against the left and who ever else is against the new austerity regime. Therefore perhaps they are passively accepting the current criminal activities of the neo-Nazis.
The official chefs of the Police almost immediately denied these accusations. The question is who still believe them in Greece or elsewhere.
Almost every night all around the country, the streets are surrendered to the neo-nazi indiscriminate violence. A terrifying collaboration of Police with the fascists in harmony. Athens center particularly in Agios Panteleimonas, Kipseli and Omonia square increasingly became the target areas for the activities of the Neo-nazis, always keeping in mind that a successful strategy should be trying to provoke publicity in any sense and cost.
They know very well that as long as they are on the surface, they gain new supporters in a society of collapse. The last opinion polls want Golden Dawn to be the 3rd political power in Greece. According many reports before the last election in May and June 2012 and unconfirmed sources want Golden Dawn to be one of the most influential political fronts within the lines of the Police forces, especially the riot police and DELTA force. Although these forces of the police are very bad payed after the measures of IMF and Memorandums.
As long as there is no vital solution in Greece, the fascist phenomenon, police repression will remain horrendous. The only change for Greece to move towards a new direction seems to be the daily struggle and awareness of the people, always with the support of the people in Europe. The crisis of values and the violation of human rights in Greece won’t stop without the mobilization of the whole society and a European wide solidarity movement. This is probably the huge challenge of our times