Young Iraqi Dies in Greek Hate Attack

Sunday, 12 August 2012 10:04 AM

ATHENS, Greece — A young Iraqi was knifed to death overnight in Athens by five men in the latest hate attack in Greece, police said Sunday.

The police said the men were traveling on four motorbikes and had earlier "tried to attack a Romanian and a Moroccan in the same area."

A statement said the young Iraqi, whose age was not given, "died in hospital of injuries sustained from a sharp object."

In a rare official reaction, Minister of Public Order Nikos Dendias expressed his "deep sadness" and vowed to punish the perpetrators "despite the so-called pretexts given by them" to justify such acts.

The attack came after a police sweep to clear cities of illegal immigrants.

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party witnessed a surge in popularity in an election in June as the recession-choked nation fought to stay in the eurozone while battling crippling debt, sweeping austerity cuts, and unemployment at almost 24 percent.

It won 18 seats in the 300-member parliament in June after capitalizing on rising unemployment and crime fears. The party has said Athens was being tarnished by "illegal migrant peddlers."

Several party members have been accused of racist and xenophobic attacks and justice officials have faced criticism for failing to pursue charges.

Rights groups have blasted Golden Dawn and the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner Nils Muiznieks has called on Greece to examine whether the party is even legal.

Muiznieks has called Golden Dawn the "most overtly extremist and Nazi party in Europe."

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Sunday, 12 August 2012 10:04 AM
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