NEWS

MP blasts police violence in Koukaki raid as ELAS admits using rubber projectiles

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A lawmaker with Greece’s main opposition party on Thursday slammed the excessive police violence during a raid in the Athenian district of Koukaki on Wednesday morning and claimed that a woman was shot in close range by a plastic bullet.

During the raid, a father and his two sons were arrested and then taken to hospital from police custody. No details have been released regarding the injuries of the three family members sustained during their arrest, which has sparked accusations of police brutality.

The man, identified as a well-known filmmaker, and his two sons (a university student and a lawyer in training) were allegedly beaten by police officers who forced their way into their home without a warrant while trying to evacuate an adjacent squat on Koukaki’s Matrozou Street, according to reports.

Speaking in Parliament, Giannis Ragousis said two medical reports issued by the ELPIS hospital and the Red Cross showed riot police exercised “illegal and unconstitutional violence” in an operation aimed at clearing three squats in the area.

Ragousis also said the three men – the father with his two sons – were injured by officers inside their property due to the “illegal police force” used.

The lawmaker submitted in Parliament the medical report of the ELPIS Hospital on the woman who he said was shot with a plastic bullet.

Responding to the accusation, Greek Police (ELAS) on Thursday vehemently rejected the use of plastic bullets, saying the force does not use them due to the danger they pose, but admitted to using French-manufactured Manurhin riot guns, which shoot 35mm rubber balls.

“In yesterday’s operation on Panetolikou Street, there was a limited use of this equipment as a result of the intense attack against the policemen, who were thrown stones, bricks, metal objects etc, and which resulted in the injury of one special police officer,” ELAS said in a statement.

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis defended the arrests on Wednesday, saying they were made in the presence of a judicial official and without the use of excessive force.