The chief prosecutor of Athens’ district courts on Thursday ordered an emergency preliminary investigation over reports of police violence during operations to evacuate squats in the district of Koukaki.
In an operation on Wednesday morning, Dimitris Indares, a Greek film-maker, and his two sons residing at a house next to a squat at Matrozou street, were arrested at the roof of their own home by Greek riot police.
Indares was beaten and bruised by riot police, was taken to hospital and released wearing a medical collar that he posted in the social media.
Photographs show that he and his two sons were handcuffed and forced to sit on the terraced roof of their house, despite their protestations that they had nothing to do with the squat next door.
A dramatic video aired on Open Channel showed Indares on his knees shouting at the riot police asking why he had his hands tied and that they were acting worse than anarchists. He said that Greece has been in a perpetual state of civil war.
“Tying is humiliation. Untie us. I can’t take it anymore,” he is heard shouting at the officers.
“You behave like anarchists who burn shops out of a caprice. What you do is worse. Why have you tied us? No-one is resisting you,” Indares is saying.
According to his wife, who spoke to Antenna TV, the riot police knocked on their door early in the morning requesting passage through their ceiling and roof to the squat next door.
The father of the family asked the officers whether they had a search warrant and said that he would willingly let them through if they produced one.
“We were standing at the windows and watching what was happening. At some point we heard footsteps on the terrace and my husband and my son went up to see what was going on. The riot police were on the roof and my husband asked them again whether they had a search warrant.
“In response they were beaten, and were tied on the terrace. I went upstairs to see what was going on and they threatened me. They told me to shut up and leave… I saw a riot policeman kneeling on my son’s head,” the woman said.
Sources in the prosecutor’s office said that three prosecutors were present during the operation.
Indares said that when police first attempted to enter a prosecutor was not there and then three of them arrived.
The police say that Indares’ two sons were in the squat when officers tried to get in and took part in attacks on officers.
When police got into the building, the pair fled to the roof and from there to the roof of their father’s home, police said.
But people claiming to be the occupants of the building targeted said the family members who were eventually arrested had nothing to do with their squat.
In a declaration posted on an anti-establishment website on Thursday, the group calling themselves Community of Koukaki squatters said that when officers realized the squatters had fled the building on 45 Matrozou Street, they “targeted the first house they found in front of them.”
“And because they couldn’t find them [the squatters] they had to make them up to targeting random individuals,” the group, whose identity has not been verified, added.
The squatters admitted to hurling “furniture, electrical appliances, stones and fire extinguishers” against the officers who responded with what they believed to be rubber bullets.
The incident flared up a dispute between the government and main opposition SYRIZA, which claims that the government’s law and order policy has led to a rising incidence of police violence and brutality.