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21 Νοε 2012

"It is about time to expose the country": an exhibition about police violence in Zürich

«Fifteen anti-fascist protesters arrested in Athens during a clash with supporters of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have said they were tortured in the Attica General Police Directorate (GADA)», The Guardian, Tuesday 9 October 2012.

“By August 2008, the Greek police had been convicted at least nine times by the European Court of Human Rights for incidents of abuse”. Global Voices Online, 12 May 2012.

Riot Cop with code number 1236 is using a young girl protester 
as a human shield during a demo in Athens
“Greece lacks adequate mechanisms to investigate complaints of police brutality and Greek authorities seem either "unable or reluctant" to follow up such cases”, Amnesty international, 3 July 2012

Greek police send crime victims to neo-Nazi 'protectors', The Guardian, 28 September 2012.

We do not have illusions for the Greek Police. There is strong evidence that Greek Police violates and encroaches upon human rights. In addition, what have changed in comparison to the past, is the state’s tolerance towards brutality. In parallel, there are strong signs that Greek Police cooperates openly with the Nazi party (Golden Dawn) especially, when the last ones attack on immigrants and on gays.

A series of serious accusations including torture against detainees, including members of vulnerable groups (like people with disabilities), excessive use of chemical irritants, other ill-treatment against protesters and beating of immigrants are some of the latest “achievements” of the Greek Police.

“Allegations of ill-treatment during arrest and/or detention In October 2012, serious allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by fifteen anti-fascist protesters during their arrest by police and their detention at the Attika General Police Directorate (GADA) on 30 September 2012 came to light. The allegations included use of taser gun against one of the protesters during arrest, spits, sexually abusive comments against female protesters, verbal abuse, beatings, threats and denial of access to a doctor and legal assistance”. This text is part of the Amnesty International report that was published in October 2012 regarding the police abuse in Greece.

Everybody knows that these are not isolated incidents but the strategy that the Ministry of Public Order and Citizens’ Protection implements. Besides, the Minister of Public Order and Citizens’ Protection, Nikos Dendias, threatened the British newspaper “The Guardian” with all legal actions when they published a reportage showing the tortures of the fifteen anti-fascist protesters in October.

As a result, we decided, as an act of solidarity to the victims of police violence and those who were arrested and tortured, to organize a photo exhibition in Zurich from 21-24 November, in order to show what the Greek newspapers and television channels bury in a daily basis, investing in censorship.

First stop of our “exhibition trip” under the name MAT12361 is the University of Zurich and the conference "Linke Hochschultage" on "Left, Science and Resistance", which granted us a room for the presentation of our material.

We feel the need to say a big thanks to all these people that supported us in the collection of the material. Special thanks to the collectivity of the Athens Indymedia, to Nikola Georgiou, to @stratosathens, to @MarianaFaithful, to @ypopto_mousi and to Efthymios Gourgouris.

1MAT1236 is the code number of a Reinstatement of Order unit that kidnapped a young girl protester and used her as human shield during a demo in Athens (see photo). This  was not the first incident of police paranoic brutallity but we want to make sure it will be one of the last. Every time people protest against what they think is unfair, the streets of Athens witness inumerable incidents of police violence. Whether agreeing or not with the motivations, the right and obligation to protest should be a cornerstone of freedom for all peoples.

About the team
We are a small team of Greeks in Zurich and our project is to setup a photo/art exhibition to demonstrate the extent and madness of police violence. Our aspiration is to raise funds through crowdfunding and setup a contest for art students to create a mobile art exhibition, initially in Zurich but we plan to roam to other european cities as well.
Currently we are collecting stills and footage along with usage rights from amateur and professional photographers that attend demonstrations in Athens. We are also looking for available spaces in Zurich to host the exhibition.

Contact Details
Follow @hashMAT1236 on twitter, email us at

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