NEWS

Police guards’ union calls for harsher charges for Koukaki squatters

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The union of Attica police’s special guards said Monday that they taking legal action to change the charges brought against twenty people arrested in Saturday's operations to remove people from two squats in central Athens from a misdemeanour to a felony.

The charges include disturbance of the peace, attempt to inflict serious bodily damage, serious damage of property and violence against police.

The union said that it was “very surprised” by what it considered as light charges, adding that the attempt to inflict bodily damage should be changed to attempted homicide.

“The union honors and respects every decision of the Greek judiciary, but cannot remain silent when it logically concludes that criminal acts…against…human life are regarded as mere misdemeanors,” it said.

On Sunday, a crowd of about 50 people gathered at Athens' lower courts Sunday in solidarity to the accused and threw coffee, water bottles and chairs at police, who used a stun grenade to help disperse the crowd. Four were detained and two arrested.

Six police officers were injured during the operation in the district of Koukaki where anarchists returned to two buildings cleared by squatters last December.

The buildings on 45 Matrozou and 21 Panetolikou Streets in the district of Koukaki, just south of the Athens center, had been cleared by riot police in a sweeping operation on December 18 last year, but anarchists returned Saturday afternoon.

Last year's raid at the building on Matrozou Street had drawn criticism over alleged police violence used against three residents of the adjacent house. Police have denied any wrongdoing, saying officers had entered the neighboring building in order to gain access to the squat via the rooftop.