Sunday, December 21, 2008

More reasons to get mad

"March is the cruellest month."

I just came across
this account (and here to read it in Greek) of the arrest of a Greek student who happened to be in the centre of Athens at the time of the riots last week via Q-Sputnik's blog. Myrto, who is doing her postgraduate studies in England was shopping with her mother when she was beaten and arrested for the hideous crime of speaking back to a member of the MAT (Greek riot police).

"Seconds later, her mother witnessing the whole thing, four policemen attacked her. They kicked her on the back, knocking her down on the street. Myrto weighs no more than 50 kilos. She started shouting and swearing. Her mother yelled in panic and pleaded with them to leave her daughter alone.

Some of them were trying to stop her from running to her daughter, while the others (the four policemen) had already twisted Myrto’s arm behind her back, holding her down, on the street. They repeatedly kicked her on the stomach, the legs, the ribs, swearing at her with vulgar and blatantly sexist words!"

I, too went through a similar ordeal when I was attacked by the riot police during a peaceful demo last year. Taking pictures seemed to provoke them to violence and as Myrto's account points out;

"Myrto told them she came to her home city to spend Christmas with her mother, but they wouldn’t believe her – in fact they suspected her of being a foreign journalist, a “rat” etc...
They saw the photos she had taken in the last couple of days and said they would seize the memory card of the camera, but Myrto did not hand it in. The camera was a fairly sophisticated one - Digital SLR – which made them suspect her and repeat their accusations and ironic comments: how come she had such a good camera, since she was not a journalist, how could she afford it, how much did it cost and so on..."

However, whilst I was injured badly enough for the hospital doctors to want to keep me overnight I did not undergo the terrible harrassment that Myrto got whilst being questioned

The officers systematically tried to break her morale, humiliating her, verbally and psychologically assaulting her. They would put their faces right in front of hers, almost touching her, calling her… things; they vividly described the “sexu@l intercourse” they would have with her. They pulled her hair repeatedly.

When she asked if they would be long, one of them told her to ask them again later, when all of them would be f…ing her."

And people wonder why there has been such violence over the last two weeks. Time and time again these uniformed thugs have beaten and killed with immunity. I've lost count of the number of accounts of people who have suffered at their hands, been assaulted, belittled and demeaned by some power hungry demi - nazi with a club and a badge.

I know that this could all be a hoax as I have not been able to find the person's original post, however, there have been a number of other similar incidents captured on video (see here) in the past and the details of the whole procedure seemed accurate enough (and as I have witnessed it myself I am in a position to judge better than most). Also the police here has a long, inglorious history of violence (see here for a damning 2007 Council of Europe report) and footage of recent police violence prompted Amnesty International to complain about their behavior.

3 comments: said...

I have friends living in Athens right now from the states that I am worried about. They are missionaries....older couple. Thanks for your post. I believe the whole world is upside down right now...
we are just crazy.

Cheryl said...


alepouda said...

Unfortunately Myrto's story is not a hoax. Here is Myrto giving an interview at a radio station City 99,5
In Greek

you can also found it at