ATHENS – A group believed to have broken away from the extreme-right Golden Dawn party whose leaders are on trial on charges of running a criminal gang is reportedly recruiting hit-squads vowing to drive out all immigrants and refugees from Greece.
The group, naming itself Crypteia, after a vigilante band of ancient Spartans who terrorized slaves, told a Greek news outlet, “We will fight until the last immigrant leaves. And to that end, we will use force and violence, mercilessly.”
Crypteia claimed responsibility for an attack on the Athens home of an 11-year-old Afghan boy and his family, whose apartment was pelted by rocks and beer bottles. A note was left that read, “Go back to your village. Leave.”
Golden Dawn members have also been accused of going after migrants and their modus operandi is to gang up on them and attack.
The boy had been picked to carry the Greek national flag for his school in a national day parade, only to have the privilege revoked and given a school sign to hold instead.
“I was shouting and calling for help,” Amir’s mother told local reporters. “The children had woken up, crying; they were very afraid. The children’s room was full of glass. A beer bottle was on the bed. The stones kept coming, one after the other. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do,” she added, the Voice of America said the report included.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras condemned the attack, saying, “Amir, and every child in our country, deserves the right to security and Greek education, without discrimination.” State prosecutors have opened an investigation but the trial of Golden Dawn has now entered its third year with prosecution of anti-immigrant crimes slow and infrequent.
There are more than 64,000 refugees and migrants in Greece, stuck in the country with the suspension of a European Union swap deal with Turkey, which has let human traffickers flood Greek islands, where some 14,000 are in detention centers and camps as the state tries to deal with an overwhelming number of asylum applications.