Three policemen stationed at the Peristeri precinct in western Athens are under investigation for allegedly racially abusing Pakistani men being held in the station’s cells, Kathimerini has learned.
The claims are being investigated by the police’s internal affairs department and have been made known to the recently formed anti-racism unit. Officers visited the precinct in question on Wednesday night and spoke to a Pakistani man being held there to gather more information about the alleged incident.
According to what the police have been told, the policemen shouted abuse and anti-Islamic comments at several Pakistani inmates while they were holding a prayer session in their cell on Monday night. One of the men, who has spent three months in custody after being arrested for not having a residence permit, informed the officers that he wanted to file a complaint of blasphemy against them but the policemen refused to cooperate. It is alleged that a higher-ranking officer then asked the Pakistani man for 100 euros to cover the cost of filing the complaint.
Instead, the inmate contacted the head of the Pakistani Community in Greece, Javed Aslam, and notified him of the incident. Aslam notified the police’s internal affairs department.
Police sources told Kathimerini that great care is being taken with the investigation because the force does not want to upset Muslims living in Athens. Investigators are expected to have a clearer picture of what happened at the Peristeri precinct in the next few days.