12 Oct 2012

Greek police used protester as human shield

Greek authorities have launched an investigation into allegations that riot police used a female protester as a human shield during angry demonstrations over a visit to Athens by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, this week. Witnesses told the Guardian the young woman, who has yet to be identified, was frogmarched in handcuffs ahead of riot police as protesters threw stones at officers.

News of the investigation came as magistrates launched a separate inquiry into a Guardian report that anti-fascist protesters, arrested after clashing with extremists from the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party, were subjected to torture by officers at the Attica General Police Directorate. Human Rights Watch said accountability for police abuse was urgently needed.


The group said: "The scenes described by the victims to reporters are deeply shocking. No one should be treated that way by police. Greece needs to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation of their allegations."

The inquiry into the human shield allegations was opened after photographs of the incident began to circulate on the internet, triggering condemnation of the tactics law enforcement officials stand increasingly accused of employing in Greece. "It is being investigated," said Lieutenant Colonel Christos Manouras, Greece's police spokesman. "We want to find out what these pictures hide."

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