Police in Nafpaktos has arrested a 13-year-old girl for selling pens on the streets. The arrest took place as the girl was walking from cafe to cafe trying to convince people to buy pens from her.
The girl was not only arrested and taken to police station of the town in Western Greece. According to media reports, she was handcuffed as well.
While the girl was released from jail by a prosecutor’s order at a later point, she is prosecuted for illegal trade.
A case a file was prepared also against her family for negligence of a minor aged.
The case shocked not only the local society as the arrest took place in front of hundreds of passersby on a vivid Saturday morning.
Media and Greek internet users ironically commented that “finally authorities combat tax evasion and illegal trade.”
Under the pressure of public outcry, Police in Nafpaktos issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that the police officers arrested her on suspicion she was after people’s mobile phones.”
The Roma “girl was known to local police and that her family had also to deal with police in the past,” the statement added.
The Police denied reports that the girl was handcuffed.
A really sad case, significant of the fact that when prejudice in a society prevails Roma children are “guilty” and “suspect” either way.
Since the girl had obviously not stolen anything, she is prosecuted for “illegal trade.” That is she could not prove that she had obtained the pens with legal invoices, did not issue receipts, and not registered her business with a tax number and had deprived the state of direct and indirect taxes, like Value Added Tax.
How can these children be integrated in the society if they are considered as “outcasts”, “suspects” and “guilty” by birth?
PS I would even dare suspect she could be guilty of the huge Greek debt created by loans and tax evasion, hadn’t she be just 5 years old when the Greek economic crisis broke out. *sigh*