Animal rights activists were assaulted by locals and muleteers when they staged a protest against the abuse of donkeys on the island of Santorini on Friday.
Two of the activists were taken to hospital, two more were slightly injured.
One protester fainted.
The incident took place took place in front of the eyes of shocked tourists.
Activist Elisavet Chatzi described the brutal attack on social media and posted pictures.
“We were attacked by all muleteers, they threw us on the ground and beat us.They grabbed our mobiles, our bags and banners and threw them over the cliff. My 16-year-old daughter was punched on the eye. Police stopped them otherwise they would have killed us.”
She writes further that “one of the injured was thrown on the ground, was dragged and beaten and they were to throw her over the cliff. Another woman suffered a shoulder dislocation.”
“I have bruises in the arms,” she writes.
According to the activists it was about 30 muleteers who came and started to beat them before they even started their protest.
The group of 20 people was climbing down the stairs as the protest was scheduled to take place at the port of Santorini. They had also informed the police but the police was at the port when the brutal assault took place.
Activists said that the assault was planned and that the muleteers had let lose dozens of donkeys and mules on the stairs that lead from the port to Thira.
“Young and old were holding sticks,” one activist said.
“They were organized, they surrounded us, they threatened us and spitted on us, they beat all men of our group,” another added.
They even grabbed and threw away the mobiles of tourists who were filming the shameful incident, protesters told zoosos.gr
When the locals realized one of the protesters was filming the assault, “they chased her threatening her” and tried to take her camera to erase the evidence.
“4-5 muleteers who were heavily involved in the beating disappeared before the police arrived,” Chatzi notes.
The whole incident took place in front of stunned tourists who could not believe their eyes.
The incident took place around 12 o’ clock Friday noon, almost at the time protesters had a meeting with local authorities at the City Hall of Santorini.
Screams, angry men beating women, panic, frightened donkeys … is certainly a very attractive scenery to promote the iconic island of Santorini to tourists.
The protest was planned last month, after several videos and pictures showing the brutal abuse of the donkeys on Santorini shocked some locals as well as animal lovers in Greece and abroad.
The protest was scheduled to last until Sunday, July 29 2018.
Let’s see if the locals will try to assault the protesters again now that their face all over the Greek internet.
If the Santorini ‘muleteers’ are prepared to treat people in this way then what hope is there that their donkeys will be well treated? They apparently made no attempt to engage with the protesters, to understand them, to try to make their case to them, they simply beat them. I’m quite sure that’s exactly what they do with their donkeys.