Over 100 people detained in clashes during banned gatherings

Over 100 people detained in clashes during banned gatherings

Police detained more than 100 people during several rallies across Athens on Tuesday afternoon as hundreds of protesters defied a ban on gatherings of more than three people to mark the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising against the military junta which ruled Greece.

Clashes between protesters and riot police took place near the discticts of Kesariani, on Plastira Square in Pangrati and near the Larissis metro station.

Tensions also followed a gathering of left-wing protesters in Sepolia.

Those detained were led to the Attica Security Division.

Seven people were detained earlier on Panepistimiou Street when officers broke up a march organised by the Communist Party (KKE). All seven were later released.

KKE described the clash with the police as “an orgy of government authoritarianism, police violence and repression" against its 1,500 protesters, while the Civil Protection Minister argued that riot officers asked them repeatedly to respect the ban and leave the area. 

"There was no choice but to order the dissolution of this gathering. Imagine 1,500 people marching through the city in the middle of a pandemic," Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told broadcaster Skai.

"I honor the KKE but I feel disappointed that with 95% of ICUs occupied, a political party holds a rally in the city center with 1,500 people," he added.

The minister also said those who were detained or arrested will be fined for violating the government's health measures.

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