Over 100 people have been arrested in Athens on Sunday after attempting to hold a demonstration for the anniversary of the police killing of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008.
The arrests came in the face of the Hellenic Police announcing on Saturday a ban on protests ahead of the notorious murder’s anniversary, citing coronavirus-related restrictions on mass events.
The majority of arrests in Athens were made in the neighborhood of Exarcheia, where 60 people were brought in by the police for violating the ban.
A clash reportedly occurred between police and a group of around 50 protesters carrying a banner and yelling pro-Grigoropoulos statements, after which officers began dispersing the crowd and used two stun grenades.
Scenes have also emerged of a German couple, who brought flowers to the site of Grigoropoulos’ murder, being detained.
The police officer carrying out the arrest did not specify its reason, neither did he introduce himself, even though the woman was speaking Greek to him. He forced the couple into a police vehicle amid journalists’ comments that his actions were illegal.
Closer to the evening, police began forcing journalists out of the neighbourhood.
Every year, demonstrators gather to commemorate the memory of Grigoropoulos. He was killed by a Special Guard of the Greek Police Force on December 6, 2008, after a verbal altercation that witnesses say was instigated by the officer and his partner.
The two officers were both charged and found guilty in relation to the murder, one with the murder itself and the other as an accomplice. At the time, the heinous killing was marked by riots and protests around the country.
In November, Citizen Protection Minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis, announced a similar ban on protests on November 17, hoping to stop demonstrations for the anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising during the pandemic.