ATHENS – A Member of Parliament from the major opposition Radical Left SYRIZA claimed that a woman was hit at close range by a plastic bullet fired by police during a raid on a squat occupied by anarchists that drew fire for alleged brutality, denied by authorities.
Speaking in Parliament, Giannis Ragousis said two medical reports issued by the ELPIS hospital and the Red Cross showed riot police exercised “illegal and unconstitutional violence” in an operation aimed at clearing three squats in the area.
Ragousis also said the three men – the father with his two sons – were injured by officers inside their property due to the “illegal police force” used but as police and New Democracy Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis defended the arrests and said no excessive force was used, and that police were targeted with projectiles.
Ragousis said the medical report of the ELPIS Hospital on the woman showed she was shot with a plastic bullet but there was no response from Chrysochoidis, the raid having taken place in the neighborhood of Koukaki under the Acropolis.
Film director Dimitris Indares and his two sons, who were arrested after police said they fled the raided squat, were taken to a hospital as he claimed police stormed into his home and roughed them up.
The Greek Police (ELAS) denied plastic bullets were used and said they are not allowed because of the danger they pose, but admitted to using French-manufactured Manurhin riot guns, which shoot 35-millimeter rubber balls.
“In yesterday’s operation on Panetolikou Street, there was a limited use of this equipment as a result of the intense attack against the policemen, who were thrown stones, bricks, metal objects etc, and which resulted in the injury of one special police officer,” ELAS said in a statement. Chrysochoidis said the arrests were made in the presence of a judicial official.