Three Greek Anti-Vaxxers Jailed for Kidnapping School Principal

THESSALONIKI – Three of 11 anti-vaxxers charged with kidnapping a high school Principal for lawfully implementing COVID-19 health measures they oppose were jailed pending trial, the other eight released conditionally.

A court in the northern Greek town of Katerini detained the three and said the others released must report regularly to a local police station, keep at least 400 meters (437 yards) away from schools and stay in the country.

They call themselves Guardians of the Constitution and a media report said one of the leaders had been released from prison after killing his wife nine years earlier, the members believing they are upholding Greece’s laws while violating them.

Vigilante groups have recently appeared in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki and nearby towns, one calling themselves The Custodians and wearing black uniforms, arguing that the restrictions are illegal and should be opposed.

The New Democracy government has vowed to crack down on the groups, and on gangs that sell counterfeit vaccination certificates as it’s trying to rein in the pandemic that surged after being spread by anti-vaxxers.

The defendants nine men and two women — face criminal abduction charges, and lesser accusations including assault, disrupting the functioning of a school, using insulting language and breaking health regulations.

Reports said they pulled the principal away from a high school, roughed him up, handcuffed him and took him to a police station demanding he be formally charged with following a law they don’t like.


(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)


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