Greek gov’t to sue British newspaper, says public order minister

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias announced the Greek government?s intention to file a lawsuit against The Guardian following a report published in the British newspaper with regard to a group of protesters being tortured by Greek police officers following a clash with supporters of the far-right party Golden Dawn last month. The torture claims were made by the protesters’ lawyer in comments to The Guardian.

A number of the protesters arrested following a rally on September 30 subsequently told the British newspaper that police officers had slapped them, spat on them and burned their arms with cigarettes. They also claimed that they had been kept awake throughout the night through the use of shining torches and lasers.

According to their lawyer, Dimitris Katsaris, the protesters had suffered ?Abu-Ghraib-style humiliation? in the hands of Athens police.

Speaking in Parliament, Dendias noted that forensics reports due to be published, would demonstrate that no such torture ever took place. Instead, said the minister, the protesters? injuries were sustained following scuffles with extreme-right groups as well as clashes with members of the Greek police force.

Meanwhile, in a Financial Times interview on Thursday, Dendias noted his determination with regard to cracking down on an alarming rise in far-right violence. In the same interview, he also admitted that individual police officers could be sympathetic to Golden Dawn.

?We are looking at uncharted grounds,? Dendias told the Financial Times. ?We are not familiar with it. The police are not familiar with it. But they are making huge efforts to contain it.?

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