We Oppose Brutal Repression of Political Dissent in Greece
We, the undersigned, are faculty, students, lawyers, and journalists from across the United States and Europe who believe that all people of the world should have the rights to express dissenting views and to protest for social change. We have learned that the “Delta” force in Greece denies protestors those rights through physical brutality against them. We call for a full investigation and accountability for those involved in the latest police violence.
On November 15, 2010, during a demonstration called by labor unions and leftists groups against the entrance of the IMF into Greece, the Delta police nearly fatally attacked a member of the international community-a 105 pound female American writer and activistwho was beaten to unconsciousness with a blunt object and then kicked and beaten repeatedly in the head, neck and back, and abdomen. Eyewitnesses report the use of force by multiple officers during a prolonged time in which the demonstrator was already unconscious, laying on the ground and bleeding from the head. Among multiple injuries, including blood hemorrhaging, her skull was fractured and she suffers permanent inner ear damage.
This is not the first time that the Delta force has been responsible for brutal attacks on demonstrations in Athens- indicative cases of penal charges against the Delta were brought by the group “Dikaioma” last week foran attempt by theDelta to break upa demonstration by anattack ontheir blockduring the general strike on the 15th of December 2010.Chargeshave also beenbought by Professor Aggeliki Koutsoumpou, who was seriously injured when Delta police officers rammed her with their motorcycles during a demonstration on the 6th of December 2009. There is a long history of complaints against Delta police for physical brutality, as there are several other cases of demonstrators being hospitalized with severe injuries after receiving beatings from Delta police.
The members of the Delta force are able to act with impunity against demonstrators and are difficult to identify, having no visible numbers or placards on their uniforms.
It is a unacceptable that the Greek government, at a heightened moment of crisis and global instability, chooses to turn its police force on legitimate political speech, physically attacking and harassing demonstrators. We, the undersigned, urge a full disclosure of information regarding the identity of the Delta unit responsible for the excessive attack on the night of the 15th of November. The officers who carried out and commanded these actions must be punished, and effective steps must be taken to end the impunity provided to the Delta force and to prevent further brutality.