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August 14, 2022

 

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Greece: Romani youth was holding his hands above his head when police shot him dead, according to eyewitness

2.11.2021 11:21
A Greek police car. (PHOTO:  Wikimedia Commons)
A Greek police car. (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)

Vice.com reports that a friend of 20-year-old Nikos Sabanis, the Romani man who was shot dead in Athens on Saturday, 23 October by police, is claiming that all three of the youths who were being arrested had given up resisting and had their hands above their heads when police fired more than 30 rounds at them. Mr Sabanis was driving a vehicle that had been reported to police as stolen and they shot him dead, while the 16-year-old passenger in the vehicle was severely injured and the 15-year-old passenger managed to escape unharmed. 

On Wednesday, 27 October, the 15-year-old voluntarily gave his testimony to the media and prosecutors. Unlike the police officers' testimonies, the 15-year-old Romani youth told investigators and the press that Sabanis had stopped the vehicle and that everybody inside had raised their hands above their heads according to the instructions of the police. 

"We were afraid they would kill us," the 15-year-old Romani youth said. "The moment we stopped, we raised our hands above our heads and they fired at us," he alleged, directly contravening police claims that the teenagers had posed a threat to the officers' lives. 

The tragedy happened on 23 October 2021 as officers on motorcycles pursued the automobile, which had been reported to them as stolen. Police say the driver refused to stop the vehicle and attempted to escape. 

Police subsequently used their firearms and a member of their own unit ended up being shot as well. The shooting dead of Mr Sabanis resulted in clashes between police and the Romani community that were joined by anarchist groups and antiracist ultra-left groups and then grew into a situation of mass arrests and injuries to demonstrators and passersby.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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death after police intervention, Greece, shootings, unrest



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