Pro-Palestinian Protesters in Greece Fighting Against Deportation Order

ATHENS – Nine demonstrators in Greece from the United Kingdom and European Union countries who backed Palestinians during Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in a hunt for Hamas terrorists are protesting their imminent deportation.

They were among 28 people arrested by Greek police during the protest and occupation at the Athens Law School on May 14 on charges including disturbing the peace, damaging property, trespass as well as violations of the laws on weapons and flares, which they denied, said Al Jazeera.


The nine facing deportation were declared “unwanted aliens” by Greece and deemed a threat to public order and national security although a group of lawyers representing them are fighting the procedure.

The protesters were set to go on trial on May 28 but their lawyers, in a statement, said their clients were being denied the right of free movement in the EU and asked if that “only applies to tourists and investors and is suspended in the case of political action, especially if it concerns Palestine?”

They also said that the arrested protesters were being held in the Amygdaleza detention center just outside Athens in “deplorable conditions” and with “no interpreters” allowed to help them at the facility.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, the detainees said they found themselves suddenly at a deportation processing center having been told they were being moved to another police station for document checks.

They called the decision to deport them “the heftiest punishment” the state could mete out “for the crime” of being inside a university, adding, “This revealingly fragile and audacious reaction of the Greek state still wanes in its outrageousness when considered in the context of the very reason the university was occupied: genocide.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose New Democracy government is standing solidly behind Israel – and making business and trade deals – has called for caution to prevent civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.

In 2019, his government ended a decades-old law making universities sanctuaries and off-grounds to police except in extreme cases, which was established in the wake of the ending of a military dictatorship in 1974.


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