30 mars 2009
Alleged abuses in the context of policing demonstrations in Greece

Greek riot police threatening use of firearms against demonstrators, Athens, Greece, 7 December 2008Greek police shot and killed 15-year-old Alexandros-Andreas (Alexis) Gregoropoulos in Athens on 6 December 2008. A longstanding history of human rights violations committed by police in Greece was highlighted by the shooting and by the conduct of officers policing subsequent demonstrations in December 2008 and January 2009.

Following these events, Amnesty International has received numerous reports of such violations by police in the context of policing the protests, including excessive use of force and firearms, torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and denial of prompt access to legal assistance. Complaints of such violations have also been received from children.

Amnesty International believes that the authorities' response to the killing of Alexis Gregoropoulos and the protests which erupted in the aftermath of his death should not end with the ongoing police and judicial investigations.

In this context, a strong message must be sent to the Greek government that no one can be above the law - especially those charged with enforcing it.

Join Amnesty International in urging the Greek government to set up an independent commission of inquiry, mandated to investigate the full circumstances surrounding the death of Alexis Gregoropoulos and the police response to the demonstrations and the riots that began on 6 December.

IMAGE: Greek riot police threatening the use of firearms against demonstrators, Athens, Greece, 7 December 2008, © Kostas Tsironis

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