Green light for race attack units in police

The Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has issued a ruling green-lighting the creation of special departments at Greece’s police stations to deal with racially-motivated violence.

The new units will initially begin operating in Athens and Thessaloniki before expanding to other parts of the country.

Victims of race attacks — which have been on the rise in Greece over the past few months — will be able to file a complaint with these departments in person, through their legal counsel or anonymously, the ruling stated.

Meanwhile, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias has announced that his ministry will be launching a hotline where such assaults can be reported.

Greece has come under fire from rights groups for not taking more substantial measures to deal with the rise of racially-motivated crimes, many of which have been broadly associated with members or followers of the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party.

The ministry’s move also comes amid allegations from victims that police officers responding to attacks have failed to properly follow up on identifying the perpetrators or have coerced victims into not filing a complaint.

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