Athens crowds urge suicidal man to jump

A man threatened to end his life by jumping from a height of 15 meters in Athens while the crowd recorded his despair and even urged him to commit suicide.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
Athens crowds urge suicidal man to jump - NewsMavens
Omonia Square, author photo

Why this story matters:

On September 5, early in the afternoon, a man climbed onto a 15-meter-high sculpture in Omonia Square in Athens and threatened to kill himself. Both the Police and the Fire Departments immediately arrived at the square and after negotiating with the man, they managed to persuade him to climb down.

Throughout the incident, the crowd watched what was happening with their mobile phones and their cameras held up to record the man's actions.

“Jump” they shouted at him, ready to record his fall, “jump you illegal scum” another one cried out, apparently judging the man by the color of his skin and believing that with his demise the city would become a little cleaner.

No one knew his name, nor what pushed him into such a hopeless act. Some among the crowd labeled him a migrant who wanted a residence permit, others called him a drug addict who had lost all sense of reality.

There were also some in the crowd who just wanted to see him fall and record his death on their phones.

All of this took place a few yards away from the place where, just a few days ago, some other bystanders watched Zak Kostopoulos be brutally attacked by two men and police officers. These tragic moments are alarming signs of a society that is losing its sense of compassion.

Details from the story:

  • According to later reports, the man undertook this act to protest the police department's indifference to the theft of his wallet, in which he was keeping his identity card, credit cards and other useful documents.
  • When he first went to the station to report this loss the officers were unconcerned and told him to come by the following morning, which he did, but they were once again unhelpful.
  • The man is currently safe and sound.
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