A young man was found dead in his home by his mother in the city of Volos on Monday afternoon. The death of 27-year-old Vassilis Maggos comes exactly one month, after he was severely beaten by police in his hometown during a demonstration.
Maggos was hospitalized for seven broken ribs and injuries in vital organs like the liver and the gall bladder.
The news of Maggos’ death immediately went viral on social media – #Βασιλης_Μαγγος – , with hundreds of Greeks condemning the police and claiming that the young man had “succumbed to his injuries after the savage beating by the Greek police.”
Prompt was the unbelievable reaction of the Ministry of Citizen Protection that claimed in a statement that all this was “fake news” initiated by websites affiliated to SYRIZA and the anti-authoritarian scene. Τhe Ministry went so far to advance the result of the autopsy.
Both sides were wrong. Neither the social media users nor the Ministry could have known what was the cause of death of Vassilis Maggos before an autopsy was conducted.
Maggos was beaten by police during a demonstration in solidarity with arrested protesters on June 13, 2020. The protest was against the burning of garbage by a local company that was allegedly polluting the atmosphere.
Δέχθηκε ξυλοδαρμό από αστυνομικούς σε συγκέντρωση στον Βόλο.Του έσπασαν 6 πλευρά,τον παράτησαν στον δρόμο.Στο νοσοκομείο διαπιστώθηκε ότι είχε σοβαρά τραύματα στο συκώτι και τη χοληδόχο κύστη.Χθες πέθανε σε ηλικία 27 ετών ένα μήνα μετά το συμβάν#JusticeforVasilis #Βασιλης_Μαγγος pic.twitter.com/p4Hf6PqjCq
— Aggelos Sr. (@saggelos) July 14, 2020
Maggos was beaten on the street at Eleftherias Square in front of bystanders. According to his father, he was beaten also at the police station where he was taken. He was released without any charges and without the police to take him the hospital.
The young man went to hospital by himself and remained hospitalized for four days.
Upon his discharge, he posted on social media thanking crowds of people for their “Get well” wishes and their support.
His mother found him dead on Monday afternoon, exactly one month after the beating. An ambulance was called in, the paramedics could not do anything to bring him back.
Maggos’ parents informed the police that excluded a criminal act, local media report..
Following the outcry, the leadership of the Greek Police ordered the presence of a public prosecutor during the autopsy. In a statement the Greek Police displayed a cooler attitude than the Ministry and said “respecting the memory of the dead man and the grief of his family, we will not expand on the subject until the investigations are completed.”
It is noted that a statement on the case was issued earlier by the Ministry of Civil Protection that described any linking of Maggos’ death with the police beating as “wretchedness” and “blatant lies.”
UPDATE: The autopsy showed that Maggos died of “acute pulmonary edema.” The results of toxicological examination are expected to be released in a couple of weeks.
The autopsy was conducted in the presence of a technical consultant assigned by the family.
According to preliminary information, the edema does not appear to be related to the beating by police a month earlier, media note.
PS Now the coroner has to dig further and determine what exactly caused the edema, right?
Disgusting behaviour. I hope all those responsible for what happened to him are punished, and if it turns out in the autopsy that it is the police’s fault for his death then they should be tried for manslaughter