Koukaki and us

Koukaki and us

“This is Greece. A constant civil war where each side alternates in inflicting pain on the other.” If one considers that this phrase was uttered by a man tied up by members of the Greek Police’s counterterrorism unit, EKAM, on the roof of his home, without resisting – as he is heard saying in a video that emerged after a police raid to clear a squat next door – it is probably time to pause for a while; we need to think things through again.

That is because, the way things are going, only the extremists on each side are rejoicing, overflowing with certainty, revising reality and the truth. Neither society nor politics nor, of course, public order and security will benefit from this in the long run.

The man, director Dimitris Indares, who is the owner of the house in the central Athens neighborhood of Koukaki next door to the squat that the police operation targeted on Wednesday, was detained along with his two sons, one of whom is a trainee lawyer. Indares, who became the man of the hour for all the wrong reasons, and his sons are perfectly capable of defending themselves. They can respond to what they have been accused of.

His friends and associates know Indares as a modest and polite professional, and he is steering clear of any attempts to score political points over the case (main opposition SYRIZA is fiercely trying to reap benefits). He has stated that he “loathes violence” and that he is “deeply saddened” by intolerance and division.

Whether he is a victim of police violence or the victim of an operation that was probably not very well-organized remains to be seen. And if the evidence vindicates him, those who stepped on his face, insulted his wife in the worst possible way and tied him and his sons up should be punished.

But the problem is not with Indares. Because, as a somewhat famous person who is likable and enjoys a good reputation among his peers, he has found support. However, an anonymous citizen, without connections and contacts, will not be heard if he or she is the victim of police brutality, because the media won’t bother and no controversy will be fueled on social media.

The government is primarily obliged to protect and vindicate the anonymous citizen if he is wronged. If proven innocent, Indares will not be the first victim. But we do hope he will be the last in the chain of convenient misconceptions and aggressive lies.

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