Elderly refugee woman verbally assaulted by Greek police officer

The unacceptable behavior of a police officer towards an elderly refugee woman in the Moria camp was caught on camera and has already provoked outrage.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
Elderly refugee woman verbally assaulted by Greek police officer - NewsMavens
Woman inside Moria refugee camp, YouTube

Why this story matters:

“Fuck off! Fuck off you nag! Get out of here! Hag! I'll shove it in your ass, understand?” a policeman says to an elderly refugee woman just before he grabs her walking stick and tosses it away. The incident took place in the Moria refugee camp, in Lesvos. The woman was waiting in the queue for food, but the portions ran out before she could get one. When she asked one of the police officers standing by for help, one of them verbally assaulted her. None of his colleagues reacted.

The whole incident is recorded in Valerio Cataldi's documentary Prigioneri sull' isola (Trapped on the island), which will be screened soon on the Italian public television channel, RAI 2.

The four policemen who appear in the video were immediately recalled.

“For the moment I am happy to have reached an absolute record: for the first time a journalistic investigation that has never aired produced an important result: the removal of four violent policemen from the Moria camp who are now under investigation to ascertain if they were motivated by racism. Really an incredible result,” wrote Valerio Cataldi on his Facebook page.

The Greek section of Amnesty International has asked the Ministry of Citizen Protection for an “investigation of the responsibilities and possible racist motivation of the police officers.”

This incident highlights the difficult conditions in the refugee camp. The camp accommodates three times its capacity due to the geographical constraints policy imposed by the European Commission and the application of the Euro-Turkish agreement on refugee status.

Details from the story:

  • The four policemen who appear in the video were immediately recalled to their offices.
  • The police officer who appears to exhort the woman was suspended from his office.
  • A Sworn Administrative Discipline procedure was commissioned, in order to investigate whether their behavior had racist features.
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