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STATEMENT FOR THE ATTITUDE AND THE ACTION OF THE POLICE FORCES IN THESSALONIKI. FOLLOWING THE MARCH FOR THE POLYTECHNIC MEMORIAL
by Dimitris Chassapis
Professor in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Secretary of the Teaching-Research Staff Union of the Aristotle Univ.
From the position of the citizen and the Academic, Secretary of the Teaching-Research Staff Union of AUTh, I want to denounce the attitude and the actions of the police forces, yesterday, following the March for the Polytechnic Memorial, in Thessaloniki.
Some slight riots that took place in the area of the Philosophy
Faculty, were faced with the immediate intervention of the Dean; but then those
incidents were inflated, magnified and used as an excuse in oder to :
- spread terror to the places around University, against students and professors, who were leaving the memorial events
- drawn in teargas the entire area of Camara and Sindrivani square
- keep the city centre closed till midnight,
while the demonstration had already ended at about 8pm, when the memorial events in the University started.
After a discussion for the University Asylum, held in the Main Hall of AUTh, Academics, including members of the Comittee of the Teaching-Research Staff Union and passer-by citizens, witnessed a severe walloping of a young person, in Aggelaki str., in front of ABC Hotel. The young guy, handcuffed and bleeding, was beaten up by plain-clothed and face-covered people, in front of uniformed police officers.
We declared our identities and protested for the guy's torturing (in public and surveiled by police officers) asking for legality to be applied. Our protests were treated by the face-covered offenders with rude swearing and by the uniformed police officers with the statements "I don't see anything", "I don't have a name".
Academics and citizens, yesterday, we faced a complete break down of any legality, right in the centre of the city, outside the university asylum, by face-covered policemen and anonymous police officers.
The Committee of the Academic Staff Union will discuss their reaction to this issue, during a non-scheduled assembly the day after tomorrow and will report to the Public Prosecutor of Thessaloniki, whom we tried to find, in vain, during the incident and by visiting the Court right afterwards.
 Student: Help! Help!
 Student: Please, help!
 Student: Please, please
 Police officer: You, stay there. Don't, you, don't touch me.
The headmaster of Police Forces was there and doing nothing. The bleeding guy was dragged all across the square and arrested by the undercovered policemen who had beated him and led to the police department. He was transferred to the hospital 7 hours later, at 5am! He has been in the hospital for two days so far, with a fractured nose, sews in his mouth and bruises all over his body.
His fellow comrade, who was walking nearby, said "we were leaving the memorial events that had been taking place in the university, there were no riots at that place and we had nothing suspicious on us".
The police, reacted with the following press release: "The 24th year old man, seeing the policemen and obviously trying to escape, he first fell on a parked motorbike and on a jardiniere which was at that place, resulting to his injury. Policemen that were close, tried to immobilize him and arrest him, but he resisted and sweared on them, pushing and hitting, using his body (arms - legs)."
The Police later announced that there is a service interrogation taking place by a high-level officer, but they insisted on the fact that incidents took place as described in the press release. It is well known that police officers tend to face complete immunity in such incidents.
The Public Prosecutor Mr Floridis, who was apparently absent during the incident, was the one who had issued an announcement, a few days ago, requesting the abolishment of the University Asylum, in order to prevent any riots. Academics and students unions reacted, by organising a series of events, including discussions, music concerts, in the university, were the demonstration ended. The asylum (=the fact that the police cannot enter the university) is luckily well appreciated by the academic community who tried to defend it this year after managed to keep a quite peaceful demonstration.