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A racist attack every 2 days in Greece

Report says most attacks carried out by blackshirts on 'patrol', acting as self-appointed vigilantes

Greece's leading racism watchdog finds that darker-skinned immigrants are at risk from roving gangs of vigilantes - and even police officers - at night

Migrants at Amygdaleza have gone on a hunger strike demanding improved conditions. Many complain that they are beaten or mistreated Migrants at Amygdaleza have gone on a hunger strike demanding improved conditions. Many complain that they are beaten or mistreated Racist attacks on immigrants in Greece took place on average once every two and a half days last year, according to a report released today by Greece’s leading racism watchdog.

The 1 Against Racism organisation recorded 154 attacks during 2012. It says almost all of the attacks were perpetrated by Greek males in their late 20s, operating in small groups.

“Most attacks happen after sunset or in the early morning hours,” the report says. “The commonest form of attack is a ‘patrol’ of blackshirts, on foot or on motorcycles, acting as self-appointed vigilantes, who attack refugees and immigrants on the street, on squares or public transport waiting areas.”

Most attacks happen after sunset or in the early morning hours. The commonest form of attack is a ‘patrol’ of blackshirts, on foot or on motorcycles, acting as self-appointed vigilantes, who attack refugees and immigrants on the street, on squares or public transport waiting areas.

Most victims are from Central Asia and North Africa, particularly Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Libya and Egypt. The blackshirts’ preferred weapons are crowbars, clubs and broken glass bottles, the victims report. Almost all the attacks were in Athens.

Perhaps most worrying of all is the fact that police were reportedly involved in 25 of these attacks - one in six. Seven of them reportedly took place inside detention facilities. In a further 17 of the incidents, the attackers were allegedly uniformed police officers. The report explains that “these are incidents in which officers carrying out routine duties resort to illegal and violent behaviour.”

Police had not seen the report on Wednesday and said they were unable to comment on it.

1 Against Racism was set up in 2011 by a consortium of 30 NGOs, including the national chapters of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Doctors of the World, Amnesty International and the Red Cross. Its express purpose is to record violence whose victims are too intimidated to talk to the authorities, or who would face deportation if they did so.

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