Jun 20, 2007

What makes Greek police happy

There is one example of disgusting Greek police brutality that has hit the news recently and has people sick to their stomachs (once again). The video was filmed INSIDE the Omonia Police Department by two policemen. A third policeman commanded two young migrants, suspected of snatching a purse and taken in custody, to hit each other when he barked the order. If they didn't obey, the beast (aka Greek police officer) either beat them with a stick, slapped them with his hand or kicked them with his feet. "Just for the fun of it", as the the policeman reportedly replied when the video was uncovered.

Is this the only example of Greek police brutality? No. Unfortunately not. Neither will it be the last.

BUT. What IS overwhelming about this videotaped incident is that for a year (!) Greek police officers were swapping it amongst themselves (via their cell phones) to "laugh about". Apparently, Greek cops, the law upholders, get their kicks by watching their colleagues torture and humiliate other human beings. The video was then posted on youtube (I'm not clear on whether it was by some idiotic policeman or some concerned citizen who was alarmed by the video's content). Indymedia -thankfully- picked up its existence and the Greek general public outcry is strong.

The first day the video aired I couldn't stand to watch. I was too frightened, ashamed, violated and angry. Then I was completely astonished and horrified by HOW MANY TIMES Greek private and public news programs showed it over and over and over, as if in an infinite loop, at REGULAR viewing hours, when children are awake and have access to television.

Last night, Lakis Lazopoulos, a greek satirist and performer, emphasized this viewpoint on his show and I congratulate him because I haven't read or heard any other public figure point it out. Why isn't the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (Εθνικό Συμβούλιο Ραδιοτηλεόρασης, ΕΣΡ) doing something about when and how this video is being aired? Don't they realize that by repeatedly projecting fierce acts that violate human dignity, children assume we are endorsing them as "normal acts"? Don't they realize that even adults become hardened by these violent pictures while they're having dinner, shrugging it off as simply "news". Don't they realize that in the end we won't even blink an eye if we come across such incidents, because we will have morphed into the same inhumane creatures that are holding the stick and the videocamera?

Link to Indymedia video and coverage:

Link to English update via Greek public news coverage: