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Greek Police Under Fire After Femicide Outside Athens Precinct

Greek police femicide
Greece is in shock over the murder of Kyriaki Griva outside a police station in Athens. Credit: Facebook

Greek police are under fire after the latest femicide in Athens. A woman was murdered outside a police precinct where she had just requested protection from an ex-boyfriend.

The 28-year-old Kyriaki Griva was fatally stabbed on Monday evening shortly after she had gone to her local police station in Agioi Anargyroi in northern Athens to seek police protection against her ex-boyfriend.

The woman’s 39-year-old former partner was arrested and was being treated under police guard in a psychiatric hospital after allegedly intentionally stabbing himself following the attack.

The minister in charge of the police, Michalis Chrysochoidis, promised a “full, in-depth” investigation of Monday’s murder that occurred only a very short distance from the police station.

“What matters now is to fully investigate the incident…and see what the police did or didn’t do,” Chrysochoidis told state ERT television. “This must be done [within] very few days, hours even.”

A police statement Tuesday said the victim visited the precinct with a friend and reported that her former boyfriend – against whom she had made formal complaints in the past for abusive behavior – had been loitering outside her home.

Greek police asked the victim to call the…Greek police

According to the statement, she requested a patrol car to take her home for her protection, but because she declined to make a formal complaint, she was directed to phone the police emergency line to send a vehicle.

The statement said she made the call on her way out of the precinct. But “while she was talking to a police operator she was suddenly attacked by her former partner, who fatally injured her with a knife.”

The police statement said members of the force are trained to respond to gender-based violence, following protocols “that are constantly updated.”

The victim had filed a lawsuit against the 39-year-old after they broke up in 2020, accusing him of abuse and rape, resulting in a restraining order.

“He attacked her with a lot of force and started striking her with the knife and I started shouting,” said her male friend who had accompanied her to the police station and witnessed the murder.

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou expressed shock at the killing. “The murder…yet another femicide, shakes and angers us,” she said in a statement. “It shows…the urgent responsibility authorities have to fight gender-based violence and crime.”

Sixth femicide in Greece this year

The Athens stabbing was the sixth femicide reported in Greece this year. In 2023, fifteen such incidents were reported. The high-profile case of Caroline Crouch in 2021 brought the issue of femicide to national attention.

The 28-year-old’s death triggered new calls by left-wing opposition parties for femicide, the killing of women or girls with a gender-related motivation, to be recognized as a distinct term in Greece’s criminal code.

“It must be examined to what extent these (protocols) were followed,” Chrysochoidis said. He added that while he supported the criminal code reform requested by opposition parties, that should follow a “serious and calm debate” by legal experts.

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