Greek police arrest 150 on eve of shooting anniversary

Greek police arrest 150 on eve of shooting anniversary

[JURIST] Greek police [official website, in Greek] conducted raids in Athens Saturday in an effort to avoid a repeat of last year’s violent protests as the first anniversary of a controversial police shooting approaches. Over 6,000 officers spread across the city, arresting more than 150 people [Radio Netherlands report] for throwing rocks or vandalism. Students preparing to commemorate the incident gathered in universities [BBC report], and authorities estimate 150 anarchists converged on the country from across Europe. Prime Minister George Papandreou [official website] emphasized the importance of maintaining stability, and said the government had adopted a “zero tolerance policy towards violence.”

A Greek council of judges in June ordered two police officers to stand trial [JURIST report] for the death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos that sparked last year's December protests. In March, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said that Greek authorities were not doing enough to ensure that the nation's police respect human rights [JURIST report], and urged the government to investigate and address "long-standing problems of policing." Earlier that month, the Greek government said that it would revamp its police force [JURIST report] in light of the riots. The Greek police have been accused of being both ineffective and unnecessarily violent [JURIST op-ed] in their response to the protests.