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Justice Minister confirms Grevena prisoners “bear burn marks”

Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis confirmed Friday that “inmates bear burn marks on their bodies”. Greece’s Justice Minister told a parliamentary committee that an investigation into allegations of police beatings was underway. Roupakiotis had visited Grevena prison a week ago after allegations several inmates were beaten by  police.

On Thursday, daily Eleftherotypia published complains posed by 28 inmates at Grevena prison, who claimed they were beaten by police.

The daily published also a medical report finding that the men suffered bruising on various parts of their bodies and showed signs of being attacked with electroshock weapons or tasers.

According to the Initiative for Prisoners’ Rights, during an inspection on April 13, Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (Ekam) officers removed the inmates from their cells, struck them with batons and tasers, forced them to walk on all fours, and then left them naked in the prison gym.

Roupakiotis told the committee that he is unable to confirm what caused the burn marks because he was not a medical expert, but stressed that it was his responsibility to tell the committee what he had heard and seen.

Speaking to the committee, Roupakiotis said: “Some [told me] that they were forced to lie on the ground, others that they were left half-naked and some others that they were struck with tasers. They showed me marks on their bodies which they said had been inflicted with this mechanism.

The police headquarters in Athens immediately denied the prisoners’ claims, arguing that the cell inspections had taken place “in accordance with all legal formalities.”

Full stories Roupakiotis , Doctor’s report

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