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Download the full report - Human Rights Watch

In some cases, victims described the failure of the police to respond appropriately on the

scene even when the alleged attackers were still present. Adams Ziad, mentioned above,

was assaulted by a group of four men and one woman around 9 a.m. on September 12,

2011, in the Kallithea neighborhood of Athens, while on his way to work. They shouted

insults, beat him on the face and head, and destroyed his belongings. 172

Ziad managed to escape and found four police officers not far away. He told them what

had happened, and also gave them a description of the car the assailants had along with

part of the license plate number. While he was talking with the officers, the attackers

returned to the scene of the attack. Although one of the officers was apparently willing to

go with Ziad to approach the alleged attackers, his colleagues stopped them and insisted

that Ziad had to go the local police station to file a report. They did, however, take Ziad’s

pink card (proof of his status as an asylum seeker), which he later collected at the

Kallithea police station.

Ziad faced further difficulties in reporting the crime. The police at the Kallithea station told

him they could not process the complaint without a report from the officers at the scene;

Ziad had to go the central Athens police station to obtain a copy. He returned to the

Kallithea station the next day, September 13, with the tiny piece of paper he had received

as proof of the request submitted at the central station. Ziad said he ultimately refused to

sign the report the officer drew up that day because it contained errors. He sought help

from a lawyer to draft his own report of the event, which he was able to file on September

14. As noted above, however, he had to pay a 100 Euro (US$ 125) fee. Only upon filing the

complaint did Ziad receive a paper to go see a forensic doctor for an examination, two days

after the attack. As of the beginning of May 2012, Ziad had not heard anything from the

police about the investigation. 173

Cidiki Kaba, a thirty-six-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker, was attacked on November

26, 2011 in the Aghioi Anarguroi neighborhood of central Athens, around 9 p.m. by one

man and two older children. The man hit and kicked him, and then took out a knife.

Residents in the area came to Kaba’s aid, caught the two younger assailants, and called

the police. The man escaped. 174

172 Human Rights Watch interview with Adams Ziad, Athens, November 29, 2011.

173 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Adams Ziad, Athens, May 9, 2012.

174 Human Rights Watch interview with Cidiki Kaba (pseudonym), Athens, November 29, 2011.

85 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH | JULY 2012

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