Greek police accused of stoking racist attacks

Greek police accused of stoking racist attacks
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Human rights groups say hate crimes in Greece are rising and that police behaviour is making the situation worse.

They say in the past six months there have been hundreds of victims and that state crackdowns on illegal immigrants are encouraging nationalist sentiment.

Activists say it is not just the frequency of the attacks that has increased but also the ferocity.

“In the past six months from the testimonies that we have, there have been about 500,” says Javied Aslam, president of the Pakistani Community of Greece. “Just over 500 people have told us that they were attacked by fascists. And now, in the past three weeks to one month it’s moved on from verbal attacks to knuckle-dusters and bats and now they go out with knives – so in the past three weeks more than twenty people have been stabbed and have had to have hospital treatment.”

Because of recent police operations against illegal immigrants, rights groups say people are now fearful of even going to the authorities if they are attacked.

“People are really scared now and they don’t say anything to anyone. It’s terrible, a really bad situation,” Aslam added.

Migrant groups say there is evidence to suggest that the people carrying out the attacks are associated with vigilante groups and Golden Dawn.
The extreme right-wing party gained seven percent of the vote at the last election.