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From ANSAMED: Greek racists, one of them (C) holding a knife, attacking a migrant (R) in the center of Athens (archive photo)
(ANSAmed) – ATHENS – Racially motivated attacks are becoming more frequent and more violent by the day in Greece but, worse still, most of the attacks go unpunished because the police does not make arrests.
The alarm has been sounded by the Kathimerini newspaper, which reports almost daily brutal attacks and bloody brawls targeting immigrants, both legal and illegal. The paper quotes a surgeon practicing at the Evangelismos hospital in Athens, who says that “during every [12-hour] shift we have to deal with six or seven cases of foreigners who have been attacked and who are suffering from cuts, bruises and often even knife wounds”.
The attackers, who generally catch their victims by surprise, arrive in groups, hooded and dressed all in black, making them difficult to identify. Even if victims are able to identify and report their attackers to police, they are very unlikely to do so for fear of being attacked again, or worse. Yet everyone knows that almost all of the attackers are members or sympathisers of Golden Dawn, the far-right party with clear pro-Nazi sympathies, which at the recent general election earned almost 7% of the vote and 18 seats in Parliament. Kathimerini reports as an indicative factor that attacks against immigrants in the Athens area of Thissio have doubled since the party opened a new office in the area two months ago, a statistic backed up by health officials at the local hospital. A number of attacks have been recorded in the last month across Attica, of which Athens is the capital, but also on the island of Crete. Last Monday, a group of assailants, who are yet to be identified, carried out a bloody attack on a 25-year old homeless Egyptian who had found temporary shelter in a square in Chania, in Crete. After being savagely beaten with iron bars, the man was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition, and doctors were forced to remove one of his kidneys. A day earlier, four men had attacked two Algerian immigrants in their early twenties as they slept on the beach of Nea Hora. In this case, the attackers used not only metal bars but also wooden clubs and knives. The two victims, who also had their mobile phones and some money stolen, also ended up in hospital in Chania. These are just two of the most recent episodes.