Banner reads ”there is no space for the likes of Vaxevanis in this town. NO to the police state” (photograph from mpalothia)
On the 7th of July over 250 people marched against police brutality from the Rethymno city hall and headed to the local police academy in order to protest the brutal attack against a post-graduate student by a police officer and a group of locals that took place in the student’s own neighbourhood.
The student, residing in Evligias district, could not get his motorbike started so he walked along the street with his bike when the police officer Yiannis Baxevanis suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It was later found out that he was a neighboour. He snatched the student’s keys very quickly and started punching him on the head. The student was screaming and neighbours got out of their houses and approached the scene to ask what was going on. The officer responded: ”He is a thief”. Then the attack got more brutal as they all joined in against the student who lying helpless on the ground and was trying to protect his head from the angry fists and kicks. When police forces finally appeared not only this insanity did not stop, but the officers started kicking the student who was lying helpless on the ground…
The young man was in a dreadful state when he was eventuaally transferred to the local police department where he was offered a beer and was advised to go home and pretend like nothing had happened. He was told it was best ”not to start problems with that guy” and that ”there is no law above a cop”. At the hospital doctors outlined a list of injuries in a medical report that’s two pages long and asked him to return for an MRI scan.The student, pressed charges against the officer Yiannis Baxevanis despite the threats he received from the perpetrator’s family and certain colleagues.
The Postgraduate Student’s Union in Rethymno published a condemning announcement and proclaimed its intention to tackle police brutality. The announcement called on the University and the Rectorate as well as respected local authorities to denounce the incident.
The local activist organization ”Initiative against police brutality” called for a protest, that was held on the 7th of July. The following photographs, courtesy of mpalothia, were taken during the march.