Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Greek Neo-Fascist Group Attacks 50 Year-Old

Members of Golden Dawn Assualt Fifty Year-Old But Police Refused to Arrest

It was necessary for the Minister of Justice, Philippos Petsalnikos, to intervene in order for the police to act and arrest two members of Golden Dawn (1) who were accused of beating a citizen.

The incident took place on the evening of Saturday, [August 30, 2003] during a march by members of Golden Dawn in the city of Kastoria. According to accusations from fifty year-old Christos Mihos, he was beaten by members of Golden Dawn. A similar fate was suffered by a passerby who tried to help. Both victims were taken to the hospital in Kastoria where they received medical attention. As of today [Monday, Sept 1, 2003] Mr. Mihos remains in the surgical clinic of the hospital.

Questions about police behaviour in this matter arose from the outset. When police visited the victims in the hospital, the victims informed them that they recognized one of the perpetrators and gave his name. They told the police he was a member of Golden Dawn and that he lived in Kastoria.

The victims wanted to sue the perpetrators and asked police to arrest the attacker they had identified. However, the police "encouraged" the victims to take the suit forward without naming their assailants! The issue became known to Philippos Petsalnikos, who is the Minister of Justice and the elected member of parliament from Kastoria. Mr. Petsalnikos visited the injured victim, Mr. Mihos, at midnight. Mr. Mihos, who has been living in the United States for many years and is in possession of an American passport, described the events to the Minister.

In the early morning hours, while the members of the Golden Dawn remained free, Minister Petsalnikos visited the police administration of Kastoria and had discussions with police chief, Nikos Moumtzi.

The Minister stated to Eleftherotypia, "I reminded the police chief that the incident took place on Greek territory and thus, the constitution and the laws that foresee the taking of legal action against specific persons must be implemented and especially their arrest given that they had been identified and named by the victims."

After this nighttime intervention by the Minister, the police were mobilized in the early morning hours whereupon they arrested the two persons responsible for the attacks and charges were laid. Today they will be taken before the courts in Kastoria. The Ministry of Public Order was also informed of the negligence by the police.

All day yesterday 35 members of Golden Dawn remained outside the police headquarters in Kastoria and for five hours blocked one of the busiest streets in the city demanding the release of their two arrested members. At noon, in a show of force, they travelled by bus to the town of Florina and marched along the major streets shouting inflammatory slogans such as "the Slavs should get out of Greece." They also laid a wreath at the monument in the central square of the city under the watchful eyes of about twenty police officers.