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Monday, October 18, 2004

Greece: Five Coast Guard Officers guilty of migrant abuse

Five officers convicted of abusing Kurdish migrants, not one given a custodial sentence. From Ekathimerini:
A military court in the Cretan town of Hania has found five coast guard officers guilty of beating up a group of Kurdish illegal immigrants in their custody three years ago.

But in a decision made public on Saturday, the court proceeded to give suspended sentences of 12 to 30 months’ imprisonment to the five officers. A sixth defendant was cleared.

The 24 immigrants who suffered abuse were part of a group of 164 people held in coast guard installations in Souda, near Hania, after arriving in Greek waters on a battered vessel from Turkey in June 2001.

Among the witnesses was the former commander of the Souda coast guard station, Diamantis Vassilagoudis, who said several of the detainees had complained to him of being beaten up by the men under his command. He also confirmed that two of the officers had tried to sexually assault one of the migrants.


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