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Police forces to combat racist violence

22 January 2013 / 16:01:52  GRReporter
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The Greek police have established new services, which will deal only with cases of racist violence. In an effort to reduce the attacks on immigrants, the authorities have opened a hotline, 11414, to which the citizens will be able to report similar cases.

The police will accept anonymous calls and calls by third parties but not calls by the victims themselves. Then, the authorities will investigate the described cases preserving the anonymity of those who report them and who will be able to submit their complaints directly to the specific departments as well.

Within the context of the investigation, the victim of racist violence will have to be examined by a forensic doctor.

In all cases and regardless of the type of the attack, if the victim does not have documents and has entered Greece illegally, the attitude of the police will be as to all other illegal immigrants, i.e. detention and triggering of extradition procedures will follow.

Police director Nikos Papaianopoulos stresses that the immigrants who will inform about racist attacks will not receive "immunity" because they will start making reports en masse solely to obtain a residence permit.

"The problem will be resolved in an organised and systematic manner, directly and decisively," he states and expresses his hope that the newly established services will not last long "because the end of their work will mean the end of racist attacks in Greece."

According to Papaianopoulos, after proving the racial motives of an attack, the police will ask the prosecutor’s office to permit the publishing of photographs of the offenders as this would make it possible for the victims who will recognise them to report their other attacks.

The police director refuses to comment on whether the motives for the killing of the Pakistani Sahdzhat Loukman last week were racist, citing the fact that the investigation of the case is not over yet.

Approximately 200 policemen will work in the new service who "will be trained in the specific area in the process of ​​work."

Meanwhile, the Pakistani community is holding a campaign to collect the necessary funds to send the dead body of the youth to Pakistan. Its chairman Javed Aslam said that the Greek government has not responded to his request for financial assistance. "We have no response from the Ministry yet and rely on the help from our countrymen and the Greek citizens who want to help us."

The cost of sending the body is 1,500 euro. "This is the lowest price we have found. Other funeral parlours wanted 3,000 euro. At present, we are short of 200 euro," said Aslam. He added that Pakistanis in Athens have also collected money to help the victim's family. "His family is very poor. They have eight children. Sahdzhat was sending them money from his work here. "

The attackers captured shortly after the killing of Sahdzhat were sent to detention after their unconvincing testimony before the prosecutor. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees condemned the attack on the immigrant from Pakistan, who in his lifetime had applied for refugee status and asylum in Greece.

The international organisation urges the Greek authorities "to take immediate measures to bring to justice all those involved in racist attacks and to prevent such attacks in the future."

Tags: SocietyCrime newsRacist attacksPolice forces
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