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Neonazis 'play football with our heads'

Pakistani community leader accuses police of ignoring complaints about Golden Dawn attacks

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Javed Aslam, president of the country's Pakistani community, alleges that in many cases when victims of racist assaults try to report attacks, they are dismissed by police officers

'Greece belongs to the Greeks. Anarchists and communists, we will turn you into soap' reads this fascist graffiti outside a highscool in Athens (AFP) 'Greece belongs to the Greeks. Anarchists and communists, we will turn you into soap' reads this fascist graffiti outside a highscool in Athens (AFP) Nine hundred migrants have fallen victim to neonazi attacks in the last three years, the head of the country's Pakistani community has claimed, also accusing police of generally refusing to record racist incidents and, in one case, of joining in on a racist attack by Golden Dawn thugs.

In an interview with Monday's issue of Eleftherotypia, Javed Aslam said neonazis have "played football with our heads" in scores of incidents that are rarely reported in the media or to the police.

Based on written testimony, Aslam says that in the Nikea district – near to where 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by a Golden Dawn member last week – there have been many incidents where a group of 20-30 Greek nationals pick out a Pakistani individual to attack, before setting on him and kicking his head around while "laughing and cursing". 

The racist gang was known to operate around Davaki, Attiki and Perivolaki squares, in Nikea, he said.

He alleges that in many cases when victims of racist assaults went to police stations to report the attacks, they were thrown out by police who refused to register their complaints.

Human rights groups have repeatedly reported of the victims of racist incidents being obstructed or prevented by the police from filing complaints or pressing charges.   

Aslam said that when victims approach police stations to report such incidents, they can expect to be told to "come back tomorrow". He said he had experience of this at Nikea, Kolonos, Egaleo and Ayios Panteleimonas stations, all of which are in Athens.

On another occasion, officers at Nea Ionia station asked if a victim had "banged his head", while at Renti station they sought to downplay the injuries that one victim had by asking if "he lost an arm".

Aslan also related a recent incident from last month where the police seemed to be in league with Golden Dawn attackers.

One night, a group of fascists attacked a house on Themistokleous St in Peristeri where Pakistanis were living. "Swearing, they threw stones and oranges. The next day [August 7], we were celebrating Ramadan, so the Pakistanis were awake. When the attackers realised that, they called the police. Two patrol cars arrived, full with officers. One of them smashed a beer bottle. Holding it against the neck of one Pakistani, he said 'you're shit. Move it before I cut your throat'."

Aslan also alleges that Golden Dawn has tried to intimidate Pakistani pupils at school into acting as its thugs, telling them that "nothing will happen to those who are with us".

Aslam says that these pupils are sent out as assault gangs against [other] migrants. The attacks are then described as "scuffles among migrants", which is how Golden Dawn wishes these incidents to be seen.

"That's their aim," he said.

Aslam also alleged that municipal police officers and Golden Dawn members are behind the trade in contraband cigarettes in Nikea, Kaminia and Acharnon St.

"They provide them to Pakistanis, telling them: 'You sell them and give me €500-1,000 month'."

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Police
Pavlos Fyssas
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