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Private Investigator Greece | Torture accusations being investigated, Dendias says [1/11/2012]

? sworn administrative inquiry is looking into claims that torture took place at Attica police HQ (Eurokinissi)

Claims made by 15 antifascist demonstrators that they were subjected to torture at Attica police headquarters (GADA) are being investigated in the context of a sworn administrative inquiry, public order minister, Nikos Dendias, has said, in a written reply to a parliamentary question from a number of Syriza MPs.

The alleged torture took place on September 30. Those arrested had had taken part in an antifascist motorcycle cavalcade against racist attacks carried out by Golden Dawn supporters in central Athens.

In his reply, Dendias, citing information from the police chief, said that five police officers were injured and that four police motorcycles were damaged in the incident. He added that in order to deal with an attack, officers made use of stun grenades and arrested 15 protesters.

The charges of police brutality would be investigated in the context of a sworn administrative inquiry, he added. The process will also investigate an anonymous charge received via email and relevant reports in the British Guardian newspaper and on a Greek website.

On Monday, Dendias reiterated his intention to sue the Guardian over the reports, saying that the issue was being discused by the State Legal Council.

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Committee described a sworn administrative inquiry as an "internal and confidential police procedure whose safeguards aim to protect the rights of the officer under investigation, rather than those of the complainant".

"Thus, the inquiry guarantees the right of the 'accused' officer to nominate witnesses, to request the postponement of proceedings or the exclusion of the investigating officer, as well as the right of access to the evidence and the right of appeal," the report said.

"By contrast, there are no provisions setting out the rights of the complainant, who does not have the right of access to the hearings and cannot appeal against the findings.

"In common with the oral administrative inquiry, the complainant only has the right to be informed of the outcome, which consists of a mere paragraph without any reference as to the type of disciplinary penalties imposed, if any. The complainant is usually not entitled to ask for copies of documents gathered in the course of the inquiry," the UN committee said.

Unit to record racist attacks

In the written reply, which was submitted on Friday and uploaded to parliament's website on Monday, Dendias also announced plans to set-up of a special police unit to record incidents of racism.

The unit will operate a uniform data bank for the purpose of immediately notifying international organisations of the cases monitoring their investigation.

Dendias described racist violence as a grave insult to human dignity.

He claimed that police officers respect the differences of views, ways of life and cultural uniqueness of all people without exception.

He added that people are detained only on the basis of evidence that suggests they have been involved in criminal acts, and not on the basis of discrimination against vulnerable population groups such as immigrants, refugees or Roma or of people of a different religious persuasion to the prevalent religion in the country.

Dendias said that his ministry has made clear its determination to stamp out phenomena of racist violence.

He noted that a special bureau to deal with incidents of police violence in cases of racist and xenophobic violence has also been set up and reports directly to him. (AMNA, Athens News/dmcu) Link:[http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/58717]No data