Greece: Non-Romani residents attack Romani ones after Romani man accused in shooting death
Greek media are reporting that the Roma community of Menidi has been targeted with violence in response to the death of an 11-year-old non-Romani boy there. A Romani man has been accused of causing the shooting death of the boy on Thursday, June 8, when a stray bullet struck his head during an end of school celebration.
After the young boy was killed, “on Friday, [unidentified] assailants firebombed two houses near the school where the 11-year-old was killed, believing the suspect to be in one of them,” ekathimerini.com reported. The homes reportedly sustained significant damage. In addition to the Molotov cocktails thrown at the houses of Roma families, rocks were thrown and a racist rally was held. According to the Greek Reporter, “A 23-year-old Roma was arrested on Saturday morning after having confessed that he shot a shotgun on Thursday evening when a 11-year-old boy was killed from a stray bullet.”
In response to this incident, riots occurred on Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11. During the riots, anti-Roma protesters attempted to attack the Roma community. Violence continued from these riots, “and the tensions stoked by the incident in one of Attica’s most downgraded districts have prompted local authorities in Menidi to increase demands for more policing and specifically for a new police station near the school where the boy died,” ekathimerini.com reported. The authorities gave permission to 20 buses to transport the protesters to the Citizens’ Protection Ministry, where a rally is to take place.
Greek media report that the accused man has admitted to firing a gun on the night of the incident, but said he did not fire a 9mm pistol, which is the kind of weapon responsible for killing the boy. He has reportedly been sentenced to 40 months in jail, suspended for three years, and remains at large.
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