Vi­o­lent of­fi­cers to be pun­ished

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Two days af­ter a 30-year-old demon­stra­tor sus­tained se­ri­ous head in­juries af­ter be­ing beaten by po­lice dur­ing an anti-aus­ter­ity rally, Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Chris­tos Papout­sis her­alded the ex­em­plary pun­ish­ment of the of­fi­cers in­volved and sug­gested that some units of the Greek Po­lice might have to be abol­ished or rad­i­cally re­formed.

In a speech be­fore the heads of all po­lice units yes­ter­day, Papout­sis said that of­fi­cers us­ing un­war­ranted tac­tics to re­press demon­stra­tors – or in other sit­u­a­tions – would not be tol­er­ated. He said authorities would find and pun­ish “those who ex­er­cize vi­o­lence against cit­i­zens or ex­ploit their power in an abu­sive or of­fen­sive way.”

The min­is­ter di­rected broader crit­i­cism at the force’s var­i­ous de­part­ments. “Un­for­tu­nately, re­cent de­vel­op­ments par­tially jus­tify the pub­lic’s mis­trust of the po­lice,” he said, adding that “de­spite the ef­forts of suc­ces­sive lead­ers, there re­mains a clear demo­cratic deficit.” The min­is­ter at­trib­uted the vi­o­lent out­bursts of some of­fi­cers to fa­tigue, low morale and in­ad­e­quate train­ing.

In his speech, Papout­sis spoke of “front­line units” that might have to be abol­ished or re­struc­tured, a ref­er­ence that was broadly in­ter­preted as sig­ni­fy­ing the mo­tor­cy­cle-rid­ing unit DIAS or the Delta rapid-re­ac­tion force, al­though min­istry of­fi­cials de­nied that this was the case. “How­ever strong, ef­fec­tive and pop­u­lar a ser­vice may ap­pear, it is prefer­able that it be abol- ished and recre­ated than that it be al­lowed to op­er­ate with an im­punity that al­lows for dis­obe­di­ent and undis­ci­plined be­hav­ior and abuse of power on the one hand, and on the other al­lows for sol­i­dar­ity from col­leagues in the event of wrong­do­ing,” Papout­sis said.

Po­lice re­mained on standby in the city cen­ter last night fol­low­ing a third day of ten­sions fu­eled by out­breaks of vi­o­lence. Demon­stra­tors protest­ing Tues­day’s mur­der of a 44-year-old Greek man by sus­pected im­mi­grants staged an­other protest yes­ter­day while mi­grants held a press con­fer­ence to draw at­ten­tion to a re­cent in­crease in racially mo­ti­vated at­tacks such as the fa­tal stab­bing early on Thurs­day of a 21year-old Bangladeshi man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.