NEWS

Police deny part in migrant’s death

The police denied yesterday that officers had been pursuing a Pakistani migrant when he died after falling into a large ditch in Votanikos, near central Athens. The allegation was made by the Stop the War coalition, which claimed that the death of the 29-year-old man was linked to an incident earlier in the day when some 3,000 people had gathered outside the Aliens’ Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street to apply for asylum. Three people were injured as migrants scuffled in a bid to get to the head of the line and pass the police cordon so they could hand in their asylum applications. The three migrants who were injured in the crush were treated for minor injures at the hospital and then discharged. The civil liberties group claims that police officers pursued the 29-year-old following the incident, resulting in him falling into the ditch. However, this version of events is in contradiction to the statement issued by the police. They said that the man had been granted asylum in the past and as such had no reason to be at the Aliens Bureau. The police also stated that he died at about 9.30 p.m. while the incident on Petrou Ralli Street occurred early in the morning. According to the police statement, the 29-year-old had been with his family and had approached the ditch to relieve himself but slipped and fell. Officers said the man’s family pulled the 29-year-old from the ditch and called an ambulance. The man, who was not named, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.