NEWS

Police surround Athens Law School

Riot police began surrounding Athens University?s Law School on Thursday evening after more than 230 hunger-striking migrants refused an offer to carry on their protest in another city center building.

The police moved in after the university?s rector, Theodosis Pelegrinis, requested that the asylum law, which prevents officers from entering any tertiary institution?s grounds, be temporarily lifted. His request was forwarded to first instance prosecutor Eleni Raiko, who notified police and placed five prosecutors on standby in case authorities enter the university, where the migrants have been housed since Monday.

The undocumented immigrants and their supporters, including leftist and student groups, met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the offer but decided that they would remain at the Law School.

The university said earlier on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with four nongovernmental organizations for the protesters to be transferred to an undisclosed location. However, campaigners said the migrants felt it was not in their interests to leave the university.

?They have decided not to move to another place because they do not feel they are bothering anyone, given that there are no classes taking place in the Law School building,? said Nikos Giannopoulos, a representative of Solidarity Initiative, which is supporting the protesters. ?They also believe that the other building being proposed does not fulfill the criteria they had agreed on [before the protest began].?