Amnesty International calls for investigation into police brutality claims

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International on Monday issued a statement calling on Greek authorities to investigate claims that four men arrested last week over a double armed bank heist in northern Greece were victims of police brutality.

The watchdog's call came after photographs released by the Greek police showed the four suspects -- aged between 20 to 24 -- with bruises to their faces. The photographs also showed signs of having been doctored, which the Public Order Ministry said was done in order to make them more recognizable. Police said the four were injured during their arrest and that only necessary force was used, but family members and lawyers allege that there was no clash, and that the young men were severely beaten in detention, claims that are the subject of an investigation launched by an Athens prosecutor on Monday.

"The Greek authorities cannot just Photoshop their problems away. This culture of impunity needs to be stopped,” said Marek Marczynski, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia Program at Amnesty International.

“There has to be an effective, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of police torture. Such an investigation has to identify those responsible and they should promptly be brought to justice,” he said.