EnetEnglish.gr, 15:32 Friday 31 May 2013
Brutal racist attacks in Thessaloniki
Antiracism groups highlight two apparently racially-motivated attacks on migrants
Street vendors from Rwanda and Iraq were brutally attacked with knives in Thessaloniki, according to a number of antiracism groups. The attacks come after a rise in threatening behaviour towards migrant street vendors in the northern city
The first attack was on a 39-year-old Rwanda man at 4pm on Satuday 25 May. According to two witnesses, two motorcyclists attacked the man and one attempted to cut his neck. He sustained injuries on his back and chest.
Earlier that day, a group of Greeks apparently approached a group of African street vendors in the central Aristotelis Square and Tsimiski areas, threatening to kill them if they did not return to their countries of origin.
The second incident occurred outside the theological school of the University of Thessaloniki in the early hours of the following morning.
A young Iraqi alleges that he was attacked with a dagger at 2am by a group who first asked him where he was from, and then threatened him with words such as "return to your country" and "get out of here".
The man sustained injuries to his thorax and was taken to the Hippkrateio hospital.
"We will not allow such inhumane attacks to become part of everyday life in our city. None of us can remain apathetic bystanders in front of acts of racial violence, verbal or physical," said a joint statement by the Antiracism Initiative of Thessaloniki, the Antifascist Solidarity Assembly and antiracism organisation Naftha.