More protests at Passion play

A second night of protest by members of fringe religious and nationalist groups on Friday outside a central Athens theater where a controversial play about the Passion story is being staged ended in scuffles with police and 35 people being detained but the show went ahead.

Tension mounted around 8 p.m., shortly before the show was to begin, after members of the extreme-right Golden Dawn joined a crowd of religious extremists and nationalists. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters as they surged toward the entrance of the Hytirio Theater in Rouf. The 35 people detained were released without charge on Saturday.

Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas, who tried to prevent the detention of a protester on Thursday night, has been charged with obstructing a police officer on duty. Meanwhile Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis asked Supreme Court prosecutor Ioannis Tentes to investigate the role of police outside the theater after a journalist complained that he had been attacked by far-rightists as officers stood by.

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