On the morning of Feb. 17, about 40 hooded men entered Eldorado Gold’s main construction site, immobilised four security guards, and torched vehicles and offices belonging to the mining company.
The next day, Minister of Order and Citizen Protection Nikolaos Dendias personally visited the scene and passed control of the site into the hands of the state’s notorious anti-terror squad.
This paved the way for a period of investigation and interrogation that has cast a cloud of fear over residents of the mountain village of Ierissos.
According to Vassilis Tzimourtos, a lawyer for many of the residents, the process of interrogation resembles “persecution and intimidation”, circumventing civilians’ rights by using “irregular proceedings in order to provide…fabricated evidence”.
This process has involved the “abduction of citizens, forceful DNA extraction from suspects who afterwards were ordered to sign consent (statements), and the profiling of everyone who disagrees with the investment as a (potential) suspect," he said.
“I was detained for hours without my family being informed where I was,” an 18-year-old resident named Theofilos Bantis told IPS. He says he was abused until he agreed to give his DNA sample.
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