Police dismiss reports of excessive force at Athens rallies

Police dismiss reports of excessive force at Athens rallies

Greek police have dismissed reports by eyewitnesses and the opposition SYRIZA party of excessive use of force by riot units which had intervened to disperse an anarchist rally in the area of ​​Lamprini in northern Athens on Sunday.

In a statement, Attica Police Headquarters (GADA) said that the assembled people attacked the police with sticks, injuring three officers.

Regarding the allegations of injury to a 5-year-old boy, GADA said that he not was hit by riot units, but felt discomfort in his throat from the tear gas.

The rally of self-styled anarchists and radical leftists was originally planned for Sunday afternoon in Neo Iraklio in response to a rally announced by members of the far-right party founded by incarcerated former Golden Dawn member Ilias Kasidiaris in Galatsi, northern Athens.

Although both mobilizations were banned by police, a group of radical leftists tried to march to Neo Iraklio.

They were stopped by the police and finally gathered in Agios Andreas Square, in Lamprini.

Police said they refused to disperse and launched attacks against officers. 

Thirteen arrests were made while nine far-right demonstrators were also arrested in Galatsi.

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