Greek Cops Accused of Abusing Protesters
Riot police used woman as human shield, witnesses say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2012 2:22 AM CDT
Riot police arrest a demonstrator during clashes in front of the parliament in Athens earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

(Newser) – Greek authorities are probing allegations that police officers—some with links to the far-right Golden Dawn party—have been abusing protesters, the Guardian reports. During the protests that greeted Angela Merkel earlier this week, witnesses reported seeing a handcuffed young woman being used as a "human shield" by riot police. Photographs show the woman being marched through Athens by police and placed in front of the unit when it encountered stone-throwing protesters. "I don't think I will ever forget her face," one witness says. "It was as if she were an object, not a human being, and I think she was in shock. She was definitely being used as a shield."

In another incident, 15 protesters arrested during clashes with Golden Dawn supporters say they were beaten, stripped, and burned with cigarettes by police officers who threatened to give their home addresses to the neo-Nazi group. Human rights groups say the allegations have disturbing echoes of the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. "The police are angry. They are overstretched and underpaid and becoming increasingly anti-government and radicalized in this case to the right," a prominent leftist activist says.
 

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