Fears of new wave of racist vi­o­lence

Far-right ex­trem­ists sus­pected in beat­ing of two Pak­istani na­tion­als in Aspropy­r­gos

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A bru­tal at­tack on two mi­grant work­ers near the in­dus­trial zone of Aspropy­r­gos, west of Athens, on Satur­day, has fu­eled fears among rights groups of a new wave of sys­tem­atic as­saults by far-right ex­trem­ists sim­i­lar to those car­ried out by mem­bers of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn af­ter the party en­tered Par­lia­ment in 2012.

The two work­ers, iden­ti­fied as Pak­istani na­tion­als As­fak Mah­mud and Vakas Hus­sein, were work­ing on a farm in Go­rytsa, near Aspropy­r­gos, on Satur­day when they were sur­rounded and bru­tally beaten by five men who shouted racist slurs at them. The as­sailants used knuck­le­dusters, rocks and a knife, while also threat­en­ing to burn the two la­bor­ers alive, ac­cord­ing to the vic­tims’ ac­counts.

In com­ments to the News247 web­site, the pres­i­dent of the Pak­istani Com­mu­nity in Greece, Javed As­lam, said the per­pe­tra­tors were known to their vic­tims as right-wing ex­trem­ists who had taken is­sue with Mah­mud’s in­volve­ment in ral­lies protest­ing nu­mer­ous in­ci­dents of racially mo­ti­vated vi­o­lence di­rected at mi­grant work­ers in the area over the past few years.

Dozens of Golden Dawn mem­bers, in­clud­ing the party’s lead­er­ship, are cur­rently on trial over the mur­der of rap­per Pav­los Fys­sas in 2013, as well as sev­eral at­tacks on com­mu­nist-af­fil­i­ated ac­tivists and mi­grant la­bor­ers.

At a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, the head of the KEERFA anti-racist, anti-fas­cist move­ment, Petros Con­stanti­nou, said Mah­mud was tar­geted be­cause he be­longs to a group of mi­grant la­bor­ers lob­by­ing against vi­o­lent at­tacks fol­low­ing as­saults on for­eign work­ers in the area in Fe­bru­ary and April.

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