Posted on October 28, 2021

Police Killing of Young Roma Man Sparks Riots in Athens

Mitchell Prothero, Vice, October 26, 2021

Protestors clashed with riot police in central Athens for a second straight day on Tuesday after a 20 year old Roma man was shot and killed in a hail of bullets from a police motorcycle unit with a reputation for violence.

Tear gas and flashbang grenades were used by riot police near the anarchist stronghold of Excharcia in central Athens, as students from adjacent universities led by Greece’s vibrant hard left and anarchist community demanded justice for the shooting of Nikos Sabanis. With two other Roma teenagers, Sabanis is alleged to have stolen a car for fun on Saturday night, before being pursued and shot at multiple times by a police motorcycle team in an Athens suburb.


The incident has brought protesters out onto the streets.

Tuesday afternoon’s clashes followed a night of fighting that saw protestors throwing gasoline bombs at riot police from rooftops as officers fired various forms of non-lethal rounds in response {snip}


With more than 270,000 Roma residents, a distinct ethnic group that speaks Romani or Sinte common to eastern Europe and the Balkans, that mostly live in around 70 suburban settlements around the country, Greek police have often been accused of brutality towards a community that has long been denied political rights in the region, according to the Council of Europe.