Racist discourse and police operations go on in Athens’ centre

The government continues with its’ pre-election campaign against migrants and refugees. Publicised sweep operations and a medial discourse on “illegal migrants as hygiene bomb” have built the grounds for a racist agenda. These racist measures and medial games are used as much as the opening of the new detention centre near by Athens to win votes for the elections.

The owners of houses where illegalised migrants live in big numbers will be penalised by law infuture anounced Citizen Protection Minister Chrissochoidis on April 24. “Athens will be clean in a few days.
Only a few days later and during the sweep operations in the centre of Athens the police filmed and photographed their operations and demanded from the citizens to report to the authorities about flats where migrants live. During one of the operations the police arrested a young woman who was being exploited in sex work. She was found to be infected with HIV and not having informed her customers about the health risks. The police arrested her and will most probably deport her. The media published her photos, name and family name and scandalised the Russian girl as “hygienic sexbomb”. While the women were criminalised the owners of the brothels and the customers were not.

The Doctors Without Borders criticised the police and hygiene operations as a measure that does not protect public health but only creates an atmosphere of fear. In a Public Release stated that: “the public health is not being saved with police style hygiene controls or with the creation of an atmosphere of fear around the concept of “hygienic bombs”. Public health can only be protected effectively when the population has enough access to health care services including effective public health programmes. Only if the medical needs of all social groups: not insured ones, children, elderly, chronic patients greek or non-greek are covered. Especially today with all the households and the public health system are suffering from the cut downs”, stated Rebecca Papadopoulou, the general director of the greek branch of Medicines Sans Frontiers.

police video showing sweep operation in the centre of Athens:

News247 (in greek)
Alterthess (in Greek)
Press Release of MSF Greece (in Greek)
mao.gr (in Greek)
Salata Tv