Thessaloniki court convicts unionist over racist rant

Thessaloniki court convicts unionist over racist rant

A man was given a suspended one-year prison sentence and fined 5,000 euros after being convicted of inciting racial hatred by a single-member misdemeanor court in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. 

The man, a trade unionist, had made his comments in a phone interview to a local media outlet in the aftermath of a beating of a butcher in the Vlali market by migrants of Pakistani origin in May 2019. Among other things, he said, “We will bury the Pakistanis in Aristotle Square.” 

The statements were reproduced by a local website and came to the attention of officers of the police unit combating racist violence in Thessaloniki. 

At the same time, a lawsuit was filed by a representative of the Hellenic Observatory of the Helsinki Accords. 

The man denied the accusation leveled against him, stating he is not a racist, nor does he have xenophobic views. He appealed the decision so it can be retried by a higher court.

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