Thursday, 16 August 2012

These racist attacks must stop now!

Brutal attacks and hate crimes which are racially motivated have intensified in recent months to such an extent that they have become a daily occurence. The victims are immigrants who, because of the colour of their skin, their religion or their country of origin are becoming targets of gangs on motorbikes. These attacks are systematic and organised, led by groups proclaiming that they guarantee public safery under the pretext of  'cleasing' the public space and are spearheaded by the fascist group that has seen a rise in recent months and which is leading the country to a dangerous polarisation.

'In the past six months knife-wielding fascists have attacked some 500 persons'  says Javied Aslam, chair of Greece's Migrant Workers' Association. 'The law does not apply to them'. Most of the attacks take place at night and are committed by groups in dark clothing, their faces obscured by ski masks or helmets.

'We are afraid to go out. It's Ramadan, we are invited for dinner and we don't go. If we go outside we will be caught either by the police or the fascist group' , a man who did not want to identify himself told Kathimerini.

On Sunday morning a 19 year old Iraqi man was attacked outside a makeshift mosque in central Athens by five individuals on motorbikes - he died several hours later in hospital. During the same time, several attacks occured in Herakleion in Crete.

Human Rights Watch reported that gangs are regularly attacking immigrants with impunity across the country and that the police are discouraging the victims from filing complaints and that some were even warned that they would be detained if they insisted on an investigation.

The Greek press is rife with reports of   'attacks carried out by the neo-fascist group' . However no prosecutor seems to be looking into any of the allegations and to date not one single perpetrator of a racist attack has been convicted.

All of this is taking place against the backdrop of the government's Xenios Zeus operation.

Motivated by fear, the Greek people voted this puppet government into office last June and in doing so they have accelerated the country's descent into chaos. This government is not only exacerbating the problem, it is incapable of implementing anything at all. The acceleration into chaos seems inevitable now unless the Greek people mobilise to stop this disgrace.

Sources: Racist Violence Recording Network, UNHCR - UN Refugee Agency

Photos:   Kathimerini, except for the first one which is one of mine, taken at the Anti-Racist Festival

1 comment:

  1. I worry about the political situation in Greece at the moment. These attacks on immigrants by the fascists while the government themselves are adopting anti-immigrant policies as a way of diverting attention from the economic crisis has worrying similarities with what happened in another country in the 1930's.