Greece has been embroiled in a row over abusive migrant detentions and the lip service paid so far by the new socialist government to honor its pledges to reform the police. Two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an incident of police brutality against a migrant mother and her child in Athens caused an uproar that have triggered new government promises for police reform.
Photojournalist and blogger Craig Wherlock translated from reports in Greek media:
a 35 year old Armenian woman was beaten, handcuffed and detained in front of her two year old child [..] in Athens last Thursday [..] When she went to get the pushchair carrying her child they grabbed her, pushed her to the ground, kicking and punching her in the belief she was resisting arrest. The hapless mother was handcuffed and taken with her child to the Aghios Panteleimonos police department where she was kept for four hours.
The incident was promptly reported on Twitter by Cyberela:
Citizen Protection minister Michalis Chrisochoidis was harangued by demands to take action. On Twitter vivian_e said:
@chrisochoides Υπουργέ, δεν πάει άλλο η κατάσταση με την αστυνομική βία. Πρέπει να υπάρξουν παραδειγματικές τιμωρίες. Άμεσα
Half an hour after the first tweet, the minister's office responded directly to citizens for the first time through Twitter:
… to which vivian_e responded
@chrisochoidis Θα σας ρωτάμε κάθε μέρα για την πορεία της ΕΔΕ.
Later, the minister announced that the officers responsible for the incident would be permanently dismissed, and initiated a public consultation for the creation of a special office to monitor incidents of police abuse.