Watch the video on Athens IMC
On the 24th of June 2006, at least four policemen tortured two migrants in the police station of Omonia in central Athens. They forced them to beat each other, beat them both and captured the torturing on a mobile phone camera. For nearly a year, that footage was circulated amongst policemen via mobile phones. On the early hours of the 16th of June 2007 the video was uploaded to a commercial video sharing service and from there, to Athens Indymedia. A few hours later it featured as breaking news in Greece's major media outlets, forcing prime minister Karamanlis to issue a statement condemning the incident.
So far, PM Karamanlis supports Polydoras (his Minister of Public Order) and ignores the increasing amount of voices demanding Polydoras to resign. But why should he? Torturing of civilians in police stations and even inside the police's headquarters, so-called "accidental" shootings, beatings, kidnappings and humiliation of migrants, plots against those who resist the brutality of the greek state: all comprise a concrete reality for the greek police today, with its actions being fully backed by the conservative government.
"We Won't Forget, We Won't Forgive": An ex-detainee's statement | Police response to the publishing of the torturing video on Athens Indymedia | Full coverage on Athens IMC
short transcription of the video:
(Bald police officer, to the left):
- Harder, harder. Hit him harder, I'm telling you.
Sit down. You (points to the person to the right) will be number One. And you (points to the person to the left) will be number Two. Whoever hears their number beats up the other one. Do you understand? (Smacks one of the two). Do you understand? What number are you again?
-...and what number are you?
- All right. Number One. (He smacks his friend).
Number Two. (He does the same).
Number One, five times. Quick, quick!
Number Two. Hit him better. And again... Now sit down. Number One, five times. That's good. Number two, don't turn your head. Sit down.
Number two, five times. Faster number Two, faster! Hit harder. Harder!
Now I want you to face each other. Don't stand up, stay like you are, sitting. You will each hit each other with your hands.
-(Police officer in the back) Let's add some sound, shall we? You will both say "what a wanker I was, to go rob that old lady".
-(Bald police officer to the left): Each of you, before hitting the other, will say "I am a wanker".
-(Detainee to the left): I am a wanker (Slaps his friend. Detainee to the right does the same).
-(Officer) Very nice. Don't stop! Harder, hit him harder! Swap over and continue. Now say, "I'm a big wanker" and continue slapping each other. (They both do so. Officer filming the torture laughs).