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Greece’s Supreme Court prosecutor targets mask-deniers with arrest, imprisonment

The Supreme Court prosecutor in Greece has decided to take action against mask-deniers and issued a circular on Tuesday seeking the immediate arrest of  people who refuse to wear a face mask in violation of public health safety rules or encourage other people to do so.

Chief prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas argued that individuals who directly or indirectly challenge health experts’ recommendations and legislation on the use of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are putting the health of the public at risk and stoking skepticism of the dangers of Covid-19.

According to media reports, there are even complains reaching the Prosecutor’s Office that parents occupy schools, opposing the mandatory use of masks, claiming that their children cannot study if they are wearing a mask.

At the same time, there are increased incidents between mask wearers and mask-deniers in public transport means, where the mask is mandatory.

Video: Elderly man beats youngster who refuses to wear a mask in a public buss in Athens last Friday.

Tuesday morning, during police control in a public bus, a passenger who de snot wear a mask refuses to follow the officers out the bus in order to fine him. He challegnes the policemen to “carry him away”, and so they did.

He claimed that the virus was a “fairy tale” and claimed that he does not wear a mask due to his religious beliefs.

In the circular, prosecutor Pliotas said that the stricter treatment of individuals who violate health rules is mandated by the “law of necessity” in order to stem the growing influence of advocates of civil disobedience towards coronavirus restrictions

“The duration of the pandemic and its painful consequences have quite literally mandated a ‘law of necessity’ on the Greek legal order to protect against the direct dangers of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic,” Pliotas said.

The circular notes among others that “prosecutors be focused, among other things, on investigation based on article 183 of the Penal Code (incitement to disobedience).” Investigated are those who publicly in any way or via the internet provoke or incite to disobedience against the laws or rules.

The punishment is imprisonment of up to one year or a fine.”

“For each complaint, the Prosecutor’s Office acts and forms a case file,” the circular stresses. The charges graduation can reach up to felony.

However, according to court sources, it is clarified that there is no case that students are to be taken to the court, newspaper tovima writes.

The circular by the Supreme Court Prosecutor comes amid a growing trend on social media advocating the non-use of masks and a mask-deniers movement that is spreading.

Meanwhile, dozens of schools in Thessaloniki, Crete, Peloponnese and other regions are reportedly occupied by students who demand more measures against the coronavirus.

Gymnasium and high schools students demand smaller class rooms – 15 students and not 25 -, more teachers and cleaning staff saying that “the use of a mask alone during the lesson is insufficient to protect them from the coronavirus.”

A high-school student in Messinia says that they are 25 students in a class-room of just 50 sq meters.

According to media reports on Tuesday morning, 159 students in 60 schools across the country were tested positive to Covid-19 in the first week the school year started on Sept 14.

Coronavirus cases and deaths have been dramatically increased in the last few weeks in Greece.

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