Umamah Bakharia | firstname.lastname@example.org
2 min read
6 December 2022 | 14:00 CAT
Violent protests have erupted in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki after police shot a Roma boy who allegedly filled fuel at a petrol station and drove off without paying.
According to officials, the 16-year-old is being treated in critical condition at a local hospital in Thessaloniki.
Greek police confirmed in a statement that the officer who allegedly shot the boy has been arrested and suspended while an internal investigation is underway.
The statement added that the boy had tried to evade arrest; therefore, police officers had fired two bullets to try and stop him from attempting to hit police motorbikes.
This led to approximately 1,500 people participating in a protest march organised by left-wing and anarchist groups in central accusing police of being biased towards the Roma community.
Police responded with tear gas, stun grenades and detained six people after some protestors smashed shops and threw Molotov cocktails at police.
Reports cited by Al Jazeera mention that about 100 Roma men set up barricades, blocking the main road outside the hospital where the boy is being treated, and set fire to rubbish cans.
Meanwhile, about a hundred people also participated in a peaceful protest march in Athens over the boys shooting as they accused the Greek police of violently targeting Roma people.
The protestors in Greece had a banner reading: “They shot them because they were Roma.”