A nongovernmental organization that helps run accommodation programs for young unaccompanied migrants on Friday said that two of its wards in northern Greece were viciously attacked earlier this week.
According to the announcement, the two teenagers were returning to the Arsis shelter in the small town of Oraiokastro on the outskirts of Thessaloniki when they were ambushed by a group of eight to 10 men who had their faces covered and demanded to know where the boys were from. The men attacked the boys when they replied that they were from Pakistan.
One of the two teenagers managed to run off, but the other was reportedly beaten badly with a bat and had to be taken to hospital where he received several stitches.
The unnamed boy is currently recuperating back at the shelter, though its coordinator for Arsis, Iris Pandiri, told media on Friday that the teenager appears to be struggling psychologically with the incident.
“It was with great sadness that we saw a small part of the community reacting... against young refugees having access to one of the most basic rights of children: the right to an education,” Pandiri said, referring to a violent protest in February 2017 where locals and members of far-right Golden Dawn tried to prevent refugee children from attending the local school.
“It is with even greater sadness that we witnessed the incident of September 4,” she added.
Arsis said that it has taken legal action over the attack and believes that the assailants are the same group of men who were seen hanging around the same spot at an earlier occasion and made violent gestures towards another group of young refugees staying at the shelter.