Daily newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton on Tuesday published a chilling photograph of a 14-year-old Afghan teenager who was attacked in central Athens on Monday, May 6, by three men who beat him and carved his face with a broken bottle.
The newspaper said that it reached the controversial decision to publish the photograph in order to prompt a response from authorities to the vicious attack, which comes in the wake of similar assaults around Greece on migrants.
According to the report, the unnamed teenager told the Doctors of the World nongovernmental group, which treated him for his injuries and has been overseeing his case ever since, that he was approached by three men wearing black t-shirts with a stamp of “two intertwined laurel branches and another symbol in the middle.” He said they demanded to see his identification papers and when the teenager told them he was from Afghanistan they began beating him and cutting his face with a broken beer bottle.
The injured youth was taken to a Doctors of the World free clinic by a group of his compatriots, where he received 300 stitches on his face alone, the newspaper said.
The organization reported the incident to an Athens prosecutor, which now has protective custody of the youth with the supervision of Doctors of the World.
“This was yet another incident of racially motivated violence that reached our office,” the organization’s chief, Nikitas Kanakis, told News 247 in the aftermath of the attack. “What makes this particular case different is that it concerns a boy. It can only be defined as barbaric.”
Kanakis said that his organization has seen an escalation in street violence. He also added that the case of the teenager brings to light the problem of undocumented minors who are without adult supervision.
“He was all alone, without any support. His parents had left the country and he had stayed in Greece,” Kanakis said.