Koukaki squatters say police targeted ‘random individuals’ in raid

Koukaki squatters say police targeted ‘random individuals’ in raid

The events that transpired during a riot police raid in the district of Koukaki on Wednesday morning to clear a squat were further blurred on Thursday after people claiming to be the occupants of the building targeted said the family members who were eventually arrested had nothing to do with their squat.

In a declaration posted on an anti-establishment website on Thursday, the group calling themselves Community of Koukaki squatters said that when officers realized the squatters had fled the building on 45 Matrozou Street, they “targeted the first house they found in front of them.”

“And because they couldn’t find them [the squatters] they had to make them up to targeting random individuals,” the group, whose identity has not been verified, added.

The squatters admitted to hurling “furniture, electrical appliances, stones and fire extinguishers” against the officers who responded with what they believed to be rubber bullets.

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 the adjacent squat, according to reports.

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.

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