Police dispersed with tear gas nearly 500 people, who had gathered at the end of the day in Nea Smyrni Square, in the southern outskirts of the Greek capital, to protest an incident that had occurred a little earlier on Sunday.
On videos filmed in the afternoon in the same place, which set fire to the powder, we see a police officer violently hitting a young man with a baton. The young man can be heard shouting: “I’m in pain”, while passers-by are indignant at the behavior of the police.
The police, for their part, said they had sent a motorcycle patrol in the afternoon to Nea Smyrni Square “to monitor the application of measures” against the coronavirus, specifying that they had received numerous complaints denouncing the non-compliance with the restrictions. in this location.
The police added that they were then attacked by 30 people who caused injuries to two of their officers. Eleven people were arrested.
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The police also announced the opening of an internal investigation into the policeman filmed beating the young man.
The leader of the left-wing opposition Syriza and former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras denounced an “attack, in the absence of provocations, by the police against the families and young children in the square”. The government “is trying (…) to get the country out of this unprecedented health crisis with as few losses as possible. Unfortunately, the opposition is exploiting the tensions and igniting the political and social climate,” retorted the spokesperson for the executive Aristotelia Peloni.
The Greek authorities on Sunday identified 1,142 new cases of Covid-19 and 53 deaths, bringing the number of deaths to 6,758 since the start of the pandemic.