There have been a string of violent attacks against immigrants in the Aghios Panteleimonas area of Athens. Racist attacks in this area of the city have been escalating for some time. A year ago there was an organised demonstration of “concerned citizens” against immigrants and the situation has been deteriorating ever since. Not that it even started there. Anti-immigrant sentiment has been growing for years now. If you are interested, you can read back over 5 years worth of articles just on this blog.
Immigrant aid worker beaten
An Afghan translator working for the Doctors of the World aid group in Athens was in the hospital yesterday with serious injuries after being attacked on Saturday by a group of around 20 people and “beaten senseless,” the organization said in a statement yesterday.
The NGO said the attack on Qadir Hussaini was part of a “systematic pogrom” against immigrants in Aghios Panteleimonas, a district of Athens with a burgeoning immigrant population. “We are particularly concerned to see racist attacks from ‘enraged citizens’ multiply,” the group said in a statement. “Basically the message is that anyone out in the streets after 8 p.m. is in danger of being attacked,” the organization’s local chairman, Nikitas Kanakis, told private television channel Mega. In an interview with the Eleftherotypia daily published yesterday, Hussaini said he was struck on the head and body by a large group of assailants wielding crowbars and passed out.
On Friday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed
deep concern over the increase in incidents of racist violence, targeting refugees and migrants, that in turn fuel social tension. Indicative is the case of Ayios Panteleimonas in Athens, where attacks against foreigners and clashes have created a critical environment of social unrest that also affects the local population
The UNHCR has urged the authorities to investigate the attacks and to prevent future violence. There was a demonstration today in the area in solidarity with the immigrants who are living in this nightmare. I will try and get more information about what is happening and update you as soon as I know anything.