About 200 buddies, relations and different protesters from the Roma neighborhood collect outdoors the court docket in Thessaloniki.
A Greek police officer has appeared in court docket in northern Greece over the taking pictures and critical damage of a Roma teenager throughout a police chase over an allegedly unpaid petrol station invoice, with protesters gathering outdoors the court docket.
About 200 buddies, relations and different protesters from the Roma neighborhood gathered on Friday outdoors the court docket in Thessaloniki, holding up photographs of the wounded 16-year-old and calling for justice.
Monday’s taking pictures prompted days of violent protests by members of the Roma neighborhood in Greece’s second-largest metropolis, in addition to Athens and different areas.
“It wasn’t the petrol, it wasn’t the cash, the cops shot as a result of he was Roma,” the protesters chanted on Friday.
Group leaders known as for a peaceable protest outdoors the court docket, and demanded the police officer be remanded into custody pending trial.
“We would like justice. The crime was racist,” stated Panagiotis Sabanis, head of the Roma Federation of Central and Western Macedonia. “There may be racism towards us in Greece. It’s not the primary incident of a police taking pictures towards a Roma simply because he’s a Roma.”
A number of Roma males have been injured or fatally shot lately throughout confrontations with police whereas allegedly in search of to evade arrest for breaches of the legislation.
Andonis Tasios, normal secretary of the Roma neighborhood the place the boy lives, was among the many protesters outdoors the court docket on Friday.
“They shot him due to his color. If he wasn’t Roma, they wouldn’t have performed it,” he stated.
Members of the Roma neighborhood in Greece have lengthy confronted discrimination and plenty of usually dwell on the margins of society.
The 16-year-old, who was chased by bike police after he allegedly drove away from a petroleum station with out paying a 20-euro ($20) invoice on Monday morning, was hit within the head and stays hospitalised in a vital situation.
The 34-year-old police officer who fired the shot has been suspended and faces fees of tried manslaughter with attainable intent and illegally firing his weapon.
Police have stated the youth tried to ram one of many bikes concerned within the pursuit along with his pick-up truck, and that two pictures have been fired in an try to cease the truck from hitting the car.
In a preliminary court docket look earlier within the week, the police officer stated he fired his weapon as a result of he feared for the lives of his colleagues however he had not aimed on the youth.
Throughout his questioning on Friday, the officer stated the youth had tried to ram the bike 3 times.
The taking pictures has sparked days of violent protests, with autos and at the very least one enterprise torched and police coming beneath shotgun fireplace.
Greece’s state-run ERT broadcaster stated on Friday that one police officer had been frivolously injured by shotgun pellets throughout unrest in a single day west of Athens.