The Greek government on Saturday issued a stern condemnation of the incidents of vandalism and desecration at Thessaloniki’s Jewish cemetery, which occurred in the early morning hours of Friday or late Thursday evening.
Three suspects, two men and a woman, 21, 18 and 17, were arrested as suspects in the incident northern port city.
“The government unequivocally condemns the vandalisms at the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki. Such instances of racism and hate have no place whatever in Greek society, which stands opposed to such acts of violence and chauvinism. The responsible authorities will do whatever is necessary so that the perpetrators of these acts are led, as soon as possible, before justice,” government spokesman George Petalotis underlined.
According to reports, the trio was picked up by a police patrol after being spotted acting suspiciously outside the cemetery. A knife was found in the possession of one of the suspects, and according to police, the likelihood of their being associated with extremist groups is being investigated.
Anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed on gravestones and on the cemetery’s wall, while a can with flammable liquid was found inside the cemetery but there were no signs of arson, police said.
Earlier, the Central Jewish Council of Greece (KIS) and the Jewish community of Thessaloniki condemned the desecration of the northern port city’s Jewish cemetery.
“Three suspects have been questioned by police, and we are convinced that the state will condemn this heinous act and take all necessary measures to bring the culprits to justice. Phenomena of anti-Semitism and similar views must be eradicated, guaranteeing the people’s right to exercise their religious beliefs,” according to a statement issued by the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki.
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