ATHENS – A police officer captured on camera hitting a woman photographer during an anti-austerity protest on Oct. 5 has been arrested and charged with assaulting her.
The officer, who works with the riot police, was not named but the newspaper Kathimerini said he was charged with unprovoked bodily harm, verbal abuse and violent behavior. The photographer was identified as Tatiana Bolari, who also works for other news agencies.
The riot squad officer, who was not named, is accused of causing unprovoked bodily harm, verbal abuse and violent behavior.
Tatiana Bolari, the photographer who works for the Athens News Agency and other agencies, was allegedly struck by the officer, causing her to loose a tooth. Several other members of the press also claimed that they had been attacked and have filed a suit against the police.
The journalists’ federation (POESY) called the attacks “barbaric” and invited the police to take part in a seminar on October 12 on the issue of the police and human rights. In June, journalist Manolis Kypraios lost his hearing after a police stun grenade went off next to him while he was covering a protest. During those protests, other officers were also seen on videos and in photos assaulting demonstrations without provocation, assaults that were condemned by the government in statements but for which none were arrested or charged with any misconduct.
Police have said they were defending themselves against assaults, including having chunks of marble and Molotov Cocktails tossed at them, but some people who said they were injured claimed they were beaten and attacked without reason.