Friday, June 29, 2007

Greek police confronted by 'videos of shame'

Greek police are battling accusations of brutality after their own films taken on mobile phones became public.

Public outrage has even prompted the leader of the opposition party PASOK, former foreign minister George Papandreou, to call them "videos of shame" that have created "a legacy of ... Greek Guantanamo camps."

The controversy was sparked on June 16 when a video of two immigrant youths in police custody, beaten and forced to slap each other in punishment after an alleged bag-snatching, was posted on the Internet by a blogger.

Five days later, footage showing an Asian migrant allegedly beaten by police was aired by the private TV channel Alpha, while the To Vima daily published details of another video which it said showed two prostitutes forced to strip to escape arrest.

Two of the videos were apparently shot at a central Athens police station specialising in narcotics and prostitution cases, and all were reportedly shot and shared by police themselves.

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