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Society

Accused Attackers of Greek Rector Deny Assault, Walk Out of Court

ATHENS – Eight young men charged with storming into the Athens University of Economics and Business and hanging a pro-squatter sign around the neck of Professor Dimitris Bourantonis, were released from court.

Four of them – none of their names were given – were released without any conditions and the other four on bail of 3,000 euros ($3667.50) each after testifying before an investigative magistrate, said Kathimerini.

The assault was said to have involved about 15 hooden attackers who tore into the professor’s office, shoved him around and then put the sign on that said, “Solidarity with Sit-ins,” a reference to squatters that anarchists support who had been driven out by police.

The photo was posted on an anti-establishment website, the incident drawing social furor as well as from academics who demanded the New Democracy do something, which has led to a plan for more security on campuses.

Earlier, 10 academics wrote Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis demanding action, including tighter security to “safeguard academic life and the operation (of universities,” which have seen on-and-off violence directed at professors.

Schools are highly politicized between groups which the professors said interferes with their purpose, urging a return to the “natural role, which is the cultivation of genuine and substantial excellence, with guaranteed independence of opinions and research, which is the essence of academic freedom.”

Critics said the assault on Bourantonis said abolishing the university sanctuary law wasn't enough to protect staff and professors

“Everyone must know their obligations so they are not accused of laxity nor of overstepping,” a high-ranking official of the ministry told the paper before the plan that tightened security on campuses was rushed through.

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