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Athens: 10 police officers attack men for holding hands

  • Truth

    The bailout from the EU should end immediately until these imbeciles begin to respect basic human rights. Weird behaviour from the birthplace of democracy and personal sexual freedom …..

    • Darule Vozhak

      The Greece that gave the world democracy was a Greece of enlightenment and worshipers of Zeus and Apollo etc. Current Greece is an Orthodox Christian Nation with increasing support for neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, they are very different places.

  • GulliverUK

    Greece is a massive disappointment to me. All that culture and rich history, but with the financial problems they have descended in to .. I don’t know what, but it’s ugly. It’s somewhere I would love to go for a holiday, but since stories of thuggish behavior from mobs, oppression of LGBT by the government, the Greek government refusing to abide by ECHR rulings, and now physical violence by the police towards innocent people, I can’t imagine I will every go. Greece like Egypt is a ruined country – I don’t know how they ever repair the damage done in just the last few years. And think how scary it was to have the police acting like thugs towards you.

    • TiggyTiger

      I prefer Turkey.

      • Jesus_Mohammed

        Turkish tourist resorts are apparently OK, if you like tourist resorts, and there are many interesting ancient Greek archaeological sites to visit (Turkey was once as much Greek as the Balkan Peninsula where Modern Greece is now located). But the problem with Turkey is that it although it is official a secular state it is an Islamic nation, and an Islamic nation that has a terrible history of having persecuted Christians. Turkey is responsible for the genocide of both Armenian Christians and Greek Christians in the first two decades of the 20th century. Read “Athens – The Truth”:

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Athens-Truth-Searching-Before-Bubble/dp/095520903X/

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      Gulliver, please know that you can have a great time holidaying in Greece. On the islands during the summer period the local Greeks, no matter how religious or right-wing they are, put up with all sorts of “nonsense” from foreign tourists, they turn a blind eye to it. Only if you go into remote villages where tourists tend not to stay would you need to be wary. Remember that 1000s of young airhead British heterosexuals holiday in Greece every year, getting up to the most appalling drunken antics in the tourist resorts. However, in Greek mainland cities you do need to be restrained, unfortunately, as this incident in the heart of Athens shows.

    • Gerry

      Remember not to go plane spotting in Greece, or you might miss your return flight…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_spotting#Legal_ramifications

  • elena

    ‘Gay money’ MUST boycott Greece’s unacceptable treatment of LGBTQ people.

  • Gerry

    Yet another good reason to leave the EU !

    • Dimitris T

      Please read my post. This is not the best sollution for Greek lgbt people.

      • Gerry

        Perhaps, but leaving the EU is definitely the best solution for the UK !

        • peeps99

          You do realise that the ECHR is completely separate and independent from the EU, so leaving the EU would make no difference in the case of the judgements referred to. And the government debt would remain. Not sure what all that has to do with the UK though, and the economic suicide of leaving the EU that would be.

          • Gerry

            Yes, I do appreciate the difference.

            I just don’t want the UK to be in a political union with a country that has third-world standards such as these.

            Just think, if the Greek authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant
            for a UK couple accused of committing the Greek ‘crime’ of holding
            hands, we’d have to deport them !

          • Dimitris T

            I can understand your point Gerry, but it seems that European leaders want Greece in the EU, perhaps so much, that they are indifferent to gay rights. Nevertheless, I do believe that a town is better than a village and a city better than a town, when it comes to human rights. Some problems are better solved locally, others nationally, but almost always larger populations are better for the matter of gay rights and human rights in general. Greece is in transition in many aspects and with a little right pressure it could move forward, this is way I have posted the example of Cyprus.

          • George

            You understand that your stance is just like the one of the bigots we’re going against, right?

            I am one of the victims and I can assure you that after we reported the incident, the state is investigating on the police officers’ crime. There’s no ‘Greek crime’ of holding hands. WE are the victims, These police officers (that constitute an exception) are the criminals. Both according to State and EU law (with the latter being of greater gravity).

            What we don’t need in the EU is the kind of bigots that only care to spread their humungous amount of ignorance, their non-solidarity and selfishness. These people and their conflicting – and full of exclusion – views, led some others to the far-right (all across the EU), and make all of us suffer just like our fore-fathers suffered for us to understand that TOGETHER, we are more powerful than the sum of our parts.

          • CHBrighton

            Britain has it’s own backwardness, too, you know. And it’s debatable as to whether the British government is working to improve the lives of everyone who lives here. Personally, I think it is better that we are all in the same club so we can help each other improve.

          • Dimitris T

            Indeed ECHR is a court attached to European Council, which is a broader organism then the EU. Therefore a country which does not abid to 500 litterally (read me first, extensive post) ECHR resolutions, should by no means be given a portfolio like internal affairs, Justice etc in the new European Commission. It is a matter of prestige for the European institutions.

    • CHBrighton

      Not!

  • Dimitris T

    I am from Greece and there are major problems here. Not only because of the debt crisis. Things were not much better 10 or 20 years ago. I am 43. You could follow my posts in fb.

    Greece is proposing Mr. Avramopoulos, a first rank politician and
    ex-diplomat, for the European Commission, with great pr to the USA too,
    with conservatives, unfortunately. The position of commissioner for
    internal affairs, or for immigration. I think Greece should be told that
    with such a profile in ECHR (500 cases of convictions, not conforming to) , it is not suitable for these portfolios. The European Parliament
    should react just as they reacted several years ago, when a conservative Italian, sexist and homophobic, from Berlusconi’s party, had asked for the portfolio
    of Justice! It was the previous time a commission was elected.
    Greece should either revonutionarily update its stance, or obstain from such portfolios. Greece has for too long been exceptionally treated and excused for so many abberations from all European countries.

    Governing New Democracy is colluding with far rightists, despite the fact that after tremendous international pressure, they started proscutions for criminal acts by neo-nazists of Golden Dawn. They have been doing such things since years and they were covered by police and justice.

    Please take time to read those links. Use the translator. Spread the word. Greek gays are stuggling in a very hostile environment by the Greek goverment and no one in the EU cares about anything else, but to be able to go on paying the debt.

    324 Greek citizens are applying for the second time to ECHR about civil partnership.

    http://booksjournal.gr/slideshow/item/483-162-%CE%BF%CE%BC%CF%8C%CF%86%CF%85%CE%BB%CE%B1-%CE%B6%CE%B5%CF%85%CE%B3%CE%AC%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B5%CF%85%CF%81%CF%89%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%8A%CE%BA%CF%8C-%CE%B4%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%83%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%BF-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CF%83%CF%8D%CE%BC%CF%86%CF%89%CE%BD%CE%BF-%CF%83%CF%85%CE%BC%CE%B2%CE%AF%CF%89%CF%83%CE%B7%CF%82?fb_action_ids=614060712041146&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=738585439516828&action_type_map=%22og.likes%22&action_ref_map

    Judiciary system is too much in favour of conservative attitudes

    http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=1843

    Police cadets say “yes, we are racists, is there a problem with that? And that they can enforce the law according to their disposition

    http://unfollow.com.gr/print/13486-elasxa/

    Greece is not conforming to 500 ECHR resolutions according to Greek representative to the European Council!

    http://www.efsyn.gr/?p=214623

    Who has been taking that for too long, with NO reactions? Who is shaking the hands of people who so grossly violate human rights within the EU? All other European leaders!

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      Thank you, Dimitris.

      • Dimitris T

        I want to thank you too. I wanted to draw a little attention to Greece, because most of the people are interested in having a 2-week vacation in Greece and that’s all, or too much fed with Ancient Greece and there is very little interest about the status (here we are talking about lgbt people) in modern Greece, which is the true life.

        • Jesus_Mohammed

          Yes, a lot of people only think of Greece in terms of sitting on beach, and good food and drink in a restaurant in the evening, and nothing more, or, as you say, trotting around the ancient ruins with a guidebook in hand. But Modern Greece and its life is fascinating, despite the grip of the Greek Orthodox cult. But in every country the cults have some kind of grip. Even here in the UK we’re constantly having to battle with the idiocy of the cults. I hope non-delusional Greeks take inspiration from the fact that over here in the UK we ARE winning!

    • ^GAY ΠΑΟΚ^ V 4 Vendetta^28^

      Of course mate…The problem is definitely not Greece’s only…
      Ok Greek politicians are just filthy scums pigs that care mainly about their paycheck(e.g. the fat@ss Pagalos) and ignore annoyingly on purpose human rights like ours especially adding that Greeks’ general mentality is just nasty λαικιστικη του χωριου & του κ*λου…

      A huge factor that the situation got way more bad 4 us IS absolutely the tragic rise of the homophobic to its core nazi terroristic criminal clique of golden dawn that became extremely popular to wide public of Greek citizens taking advantage the factor that we are in huge destructive financial crisis in all levels so they used the card of salvators for Greece and things became way more difficult for gays here when i stronly think that they simply would NOT under any different circumstances..
      Of course golden dawn’s main target is NOT to fight against homosexuals but they only just dislike us heavily and they love to bully us such thugs they are..

      Last but not least,add that europeans political leaders in E.U. are incapable and unable to face the situation with drastic measures so all these causes have created this MESS 4 us…

      • Jesus_Mohammed

        Gay Paok, you’re right regarding the financial crisis having cause the rise in support for the neo-nazis in Greece and they then raising the level of homophobia.

        The thing is not to be passive. Like the 324 brave homosexual Greeks who are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights regarding Greece’s refusal to allow same-sex marriage/unions, many more Greeks must speak up and appeal to the authorities outside of Greece’s borders.

        Don’t keep your problems to yourself. Don’t be embarrassed that you have problems in Greece. Tell the rest of the world about them. Then international pressure can work its wonders, as it has so often done.

  • Gerry

    Just think, if the Greek authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant for a UK couple accused of committing the Greek ‘crime’ of holding hands, we’d have to deport them !

    • George

      Gerry, you understand that your stance is just like the one of the bigots we’re going against, right?

      I am one of the victims and I can assure you that after we reported the incident, the state is investigating on the police officers’ crime. There’s no ‘Greek crime’ of holding hands. WE are the victims, These police officers (that constitute an exception) are the criminals. Both according to State and EU law (with the latter being of greater gravity).

      What we don’t need in the EU is the kind of bigots that only care to spread their humungous amount of ignorance, their non-solidarity and selfishness. These people and their conflicting – and full of exclusion – views, led some others to the far-right (all across the EU), and make all of us suffer just like our fore-fathers suffered for us to understand that TOGETHER, we are more powerful than the sum of our parts.

      • Jesus_Mohammed

        George, thanks for posting! Yes, people must understand that in Athens there are groups of policemen lolling about all over the city, and on this occasion, just like any group of “lads” in any country, this particular group of policemen behaved like louts, and probably because one or two of them decided to show the rest how “big” and “tough” they were, and the rest stood by and permitted it to happen. The Greek police force does need to sharpen up its act. The general behaviour of Greek policemen on the streets of Athens is far from professional. It’s good to hear that there an investigation is now being conducted into your abusers’ behaviour. Well done you for reporting the incident and publicising this incident! Keep us posted!

  • Cal

    How terribly sad and corrupt. Every single one of those policemen has had Gay sex. That is the Greek way and they are particularly paranoid about it. Discreet sex is fine, it’s the love they object to. I adore Greece and have had many happy times there. The political swing to the right is so sad.

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      “every single one of those policement has had gay sex”! Cal! Come on, that’s a ludicrous claim. Possibly one or two of them has. The men of Modern Greece today are not to be confused the men of Ancient Greece! The people of today’s “Modern Greece” conduct lives quite similar to those of people in most Mediterranean nations.

      • Cal

        I think you will find that in any country where women and girls are kept under lock and key (as is often the case in modern Greece) boys indulge in ams sex activity. I imagine it would be extremely unusual if out of a group of 10 Greek men only one or two had indulged. And don’t get me started on the Arabs!

        • D

          So Cal, how do you know so much about modern Greece?

          I guess that when you live in London where you have your anti-discrimination protection, marriage and everything, it is easy to make the most terrible assumptions about modern Greece, based on a homophobic incident that happened there.

          What happened was terrible indeed, it also made me angry and I happen to know both of the victims of the attack. Greek society is indeed conservative and the orthodox church has a lot of influence. All that is true and all the information that was shared by other people from Greece here in the comments is true. But unlike you, all of them were people from Greece who shared that information.

          So, take it from someone who happened to have spent his whole life in Greece. No it is not often the case in modern Greece that women and girls are kept under lock and key. And sorry that I’m going to break your fantasy of greek love but most men don’t have sex with other men simply because of the fact that they are straight. And no, don’t get started on the Arabs, as it is Greece we are talking about and not the arabic countries.

          Don’t treat foreign countries as stereotypes, people. You don’t do anyone any good.

          • Cal

            My comments are based on observation and conversations with Greek men and women over many years visiting Greece, sometimes 3 times annually. I have never been to Gay resorts but have spent quality time with Greek people – mainly on the islands. Perhaps I have walked away with the wrong impression. I don’t know Athens too well. I worked there for a short while a few years ago and have visited several times as tourist so perhaps I am not qualified to make judgements of metropolitan Greeks.
            I would not single Greece out as a particularly homophobic place. There are worse, but many macho Greeks are ashamed of Greece’s reputation as the historic cradle of same sex love. I clearly adore Greece and can only apologise if I have offended.

          • TakisPapas

            You haven’t offended anyone. But women in Greece are totally free sexually, even in small villages. Well there might be gossip, but that’s another thing….
            Sadly, that sexual freedom of greek women, isn’t applied on gays and lesbians….a big contrast….especially in small towns…particularly when it comes to adolescents…

        • TakisPapas

          Cal
          women and girls are kept under lock in Greece???? Have you ever been to Greece? You re describing a situation 40 years past. Please, we do need improvement of lgbt rights, but our country is not Syria or Egypt. Come to your senses….

  • Thomas

    The Greek government and the state police force should hang their heads in shame – this is Third World banana republic behaviour – for the cradle of western civilisation and democracy such an incident is an international disgrace and discredits the whole Greek nation.

    • Andy Diamond

      May I point out that I find the term “banana republic” extremely racist and offending. It implies that countries where bananas grow are not civilized. It is very offensive for African countries for example.

      • Jesus_Mohammed

        “banana republic” is a colloquial term applied to any small state, especially in central America whose economy is almost entirely dependent on its fruit-exporting trade. There is nothing essentially racist in the term. As we know, behaviour towards homosexual citizens in “banana republics” is often very poor. Hence it sad that Greece’s police force have exhibited behaviour that is similar to behaviour observed in “banana republics”.

      • Eugene

        The term “banana republic” is not racist and it is certainly not offensive in Africa. People across this continent (I live here) use the term. It is racist to imply that Africans are only black – that is the conclusion I have to draw if I take into account that you claim the term “banana republic” is racist and that citizens of African countries would find it offensive.

        • Andy Diamond

          Please, calling countries that are famous for growing bananas a “banana republic” is the same as if I call Asian people “rice eaters.” You reduce someone to a habit. As if growing bananas were the only thing these countries are famous for.

          • Jason Chenard

            You’re wrong, Andy. Call it a day.

            Go read another article somewhere and see if you can find something different to decide to be offended by.

          • Andy Diamond

            Oh yes, I just looked the term up in the dictionary and guess what, even there it is defines as derogatory. But I’m sure you are smarter than Merriam Webster.

          • Jason Chenard

            I’m not smarter than Merriam-Webster. But, I am quite able to consult their web site (and others). Here’s what I found:

            Online Merriam-Webster – A small independent country, usually of the tropics; especially, one run despotically

            Online Oxford – A small nation, especially in Central America, dependent on one crop or the influx of foreign capital

            Wikepedia – Banana republic is a political science term for a politically unstable country, whose economy is largely dependent on exporting a limited-resource product, e.g. bananas…

            Are you always like this, or was August 1 just a really bad day for you?

          • Andy Diamond

            This is directly from Merriam Webster (obviously you do not know how to read the words/abbreviations printed in italics):

            banana republic |bəˈnænə rəˈpəblɪk|
            noun chiefly derogatory

            There it directly says “DEROGATORY” – there, what else do you need to know? Even the dictionary says it is a derogatory term, a term that people find offensive – if they are educated.

  • Dimitris T

    On the contraty, Cyprus, which is Orthodox and at least Greek Cypriots are very similar to Greeks, is preparing a very serious civil partnership law! Something has worked well there and it has to work well here in Greece. They have similar financial problems, plus the occupation of the 40% of the island by Turkey.

    http://www.sigmalive.com/news/local/140890

    • TomSatsuma

      Although Northern Cyprus was the last place in Europe to legalise homosexuality (from Feb this year)

  • Brian Apple

    Greece is extremely homophobic. We all like to say that the Greek Islands are wonderful for a holiday but the truth is it’s a very homophobic place. The Greek Orthodox Church is no different from its Russian counterpart in the degree of its homophobia.

    • TakisPapas

      That s not even remotely true. The Russian church is unanimously against gay people and they advocate that. Also they have a huge influence over the government. In Greece there are only individual bishops that speak publicly against gays, and their influence over governments is limited. There should be no influence at all, I agree, but let’s not take things out of proportions. In Russia gays fear for their very lives, very different situation than in Greece.

      • Dimitris T

        Nevertheless Greek Orthodox Church is grossly responsible for Greece’s lagging behind anyone of the “old” EU Countries. In September a strong civil partnership will be discussed in the parliament of Cyprus.
        http://www.sigmalive.com/news/local/140890http://akropolis-world-news.weebly.com/
        This is what everyone is taught, since early childhood, that to be gay is filthy. And this has religious roots.
        Ecclesiastic groups are constantly posing pessure against incernation or anything that would let people with other perception of life to lead their lives as they want.

        • TakisPapas

          True. But nowhere near the situation in Russia. We need equal legislation, they need protection of their lives first…

  • Brian Apple

    What they object to is the formalization of male homosexual relations. Two men holding hands represents formalization. They’re not opposed to it if it occurs behind closed doors or in dark parks.

  • Jase

    Greece should have never been allowed to adopt the Euro. It is just a bad country in every way – always has been.

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      Jase, there are some wonderful things and many wonderful people in Greece! Go see!

  • Leonard Woodrow

    Another stain on what was once a great nation.

  • Andy Diamond

    If this is true, I can only hope that these police officers will lose their jobs immediately.

    • Dimitris T

      This is by no means going to happen. Police officers do never lose their jobs here in Greece, even for grave offenses. Read my links in the extensive post.

      • Andy Diamond

        That’s very sad. Maybe if the LGBT community starts a petition and causes enough pressure, it will happen.

        • TakisPapas

          There has been a formal question by an MP in parliament today, addressed to the minister in charge of police affairs. This is a good step….

          • Dimitris T

            Οf course it is a good step, but the experience up to now shows us that we never climb up this stair any further than the first step…

  • George

    Excellent.Good for the cops for once!

  • Themetris

    I wish I could see a silver lining somewhere, somehow in present day Greece. Awareness, despite the wealth of online sources, is fragmented and uneven. It’s also become a purely individual matter, considering how our non-secular greek orthodox society and education vehemently shrug off proper sexual schooling. Yet what’s worse, for me, is the absolute lack of solidarity -not even amongst LGBT individuals themselves, spurred no less by copious self-loathing and fear. If greek gay men and women would invest as much energy into pursuing their civil rights and freedoms, as to maintain their closeted hypocrisy and double lives, then we may have stood in front of a totally different picture.

  • Aaron Boone

    This isn’t really surprising. Out of any profession, the nazi vermin of golden dawn polled the highest among the cops. Pigs are not your friends, especially in Greece.

  • George

    Excellent. Score one for the cops this time.

  • TakisPapas

    This is a sad and rare incident. Of course you don’t see many gay couples holding hands in Athens. Police protection is very effective during pride events etc and they also investigate every incident reported to them. But there is still work to be done. The gay men probably argued with the cops, and some of them decided to “teach them a lesson”. It was mainly verbal, from what I understand, so the title of the article is a bit misleading.
    As someone else here described, some cops have far right views and the rest of them don’t want to “fight” with colleagues. What happened is totally unacceptable, an I do hope that the investigation gets widely known among cops, so that they think twice before they ever behave like that again.
    The ones involved will probably not be punished, but that the victims did not remain in silence is already a “victory” . There are still behavioral problems with greek cops, and the conservative government of Samaras is definitely not addressing them…

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