Greece records clashes at demonstrations against police violence


Police and protesters clashed on Tuesday in cities across Greece after rallies took place in protest against the killing of a teenager by security forces 14 years ago. There is no information on injuries or detainees in the clashes.

Hundreds of demonstrators march across the country annually in memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, killed in 2008 when he was 15. According to the police, he was shot by soldier Epaminondas Korkoneas as he was throwing stones at a police vehicle. The defense lawyer argues that the soldier did not directly target the teenager – which is contested by witnesses, who also highlight the fact that the young man was unarmed.

This year’s marches were authorized by Parliament. In Athens, the protest ended near the Exarchia neighborhood, where Grigoropoulos was killed. After the demonstration, which gathered hundreds of people and was peaceful, hooded protesters threw Molotov cocktails at the riot police, who responded with tear gas bombs. Clashes also broke out in Thessaloniki in northern Greece.

Approximately 4,000 police were deployed to monitor the march in Athens. During the act, soldiers formed cordons near Parliament and businesses in the city center. A police helicopter was used to follow the demonstration.

Protesters repeatedly chanted the phrase “hands off our bodies”. This year, they also protested against a policeman who shot, this Monday (5), a 16-year-old Roma youth. He was wounded in the head and is in a hospital in Thessaloniki.

Police say the teenager filled up a truck and left the gas station without paying. He was shot during a chase — the police officer accused of having fired the shot was arrested. The episode sparked protests from Roma groups and increased tension for Tuesday’s march.

In 2008, the death of teenager Grigoropoulos triggered a wave of disturbances across the country, with several clashes between police and demonstrators.

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