Conversation from a satire-play

Migrant got beaten by six dressed in black called police’s special ‘racist attack report’ hot-line

by Dimitris Aggelidis

Broken english, awkardness, and typical identification questions. It could have been a conversation from a satirical play. It is, unfortunately, the transcribed text of a real conversation after a call at the 5-digit police hot-line for complaints about racist attack that the minister of the Protection of the Citizen recently announced. The migrant who called was beaten by the usual black-clothed. He believed the announcements and hoped that this time he would stand a chance. It turned out a flop.

Night time. Nearly two weeks ago. He’s just watched the match at a coffee place near the train station in Athens. Near Golden Dawn’s offices. He crosses the street to go to Aharnon st. He spots six big guys, not older than 20 years old; one one of them with a ‘mohawk’. They point at him and head towards him. He runs, they round him up. Three of them behind him and another three in front of him. The first blow is in his face.  His nose bleeds. Blood. He spots a knife before it lands on his shoulder and feels he is being kicked from his back. A blow from an elbow hits his waist, near his spine. Amidst those legs ready to kick he sees an opening. He crawls, passes, and runs away. He was lucky enough. The previous time, in early summer, the attack had left him bleeding and a with a broken arm.

This time he hopes something has changed. The minister of the Protection of the Citizen and the police have announced measures against racist crime. Including the “5-digit number 11414 – for receiving 24/7 reports and complaints regarding lawless actions with racist characteristics or motive. Notably, the number receives calls from all networks while anonymity and confidentiality is guaranteed.”

racist attack

A few days later, he calls the number from his cell phone. He thinks it’s free of charge. But his 5 euro top-up quickly runs out. And that’s not the worst. “There are right questions and wrong questions. They asked me all the wrong questions”, he told ‘Ef-Syn’ [newspaper’s name], when he visited us a few days ago and had us to listen to the recorded conversation.

He’s afraid of revealing his name publicly. We prefer to call him Adam. He is from Somalia, 27 years old; he’s been in Greece for a year and half. He’s got a pink refugee card since November. He works as a translator for Greek and foreign NGO’s and for international media.

The entire conversation of Adam with the P.O. in duty at 11414 hot-line

“when it happens again, call the police…”

P.O.: [In Greek]: Can you hear me?

Adam: [in English] Do you speak English?

P.O.: [in Greek] Tell me, only Greek.

Adam.: [in English] Not English?

P.O.: [in English, until the end of the dialogue] Tell me.

Adam.: Do you speak English, sir?

P.O.: Yes.

Adam.: Okey, I’m from Somalia. On Saturday – excuse me – on Friday I was attacked. I saw the number and I was told that “they can help”.

P.O.: Hang on a minute…[pause] who did you say attacked you?

Ad.: They were six, wearing black clothes. It is the second time. The first time it was near Ag. Panteleimonas. They broke my arm. This is the second time.

P.O.: Tell me your name please.

Ad.: My name? Do you need to know my name?

P.O.: It is necessary sir.

Ad.: I said my name is Adam.

P.O.: Your last name?

Ad.: Excuse me?

P.O.: Your last name.

Ad.: My name is Adam, my last name is Adam too.

P.O.: What is your phone number?

Ad.: The one I am calling you from.

P.O.: I can’t see your number.

Ad.: 69…

P.O.: Hang on a minute [pause]. Do you know those who attacked you?

Ad.: If I saw them I’d definitely recognize them.

P.O.: Could you repeat that?

Ad.: If I saw them I’d definitely recognize them.

P.O.: And the names?

Ad.: Excuse me?

P.O.: Do you know the name of the person who attacked you?

Ad.: The name, sir? I don’t know. But they were wearing black and were 19-20 years old. Six-seven people.

P.O.: Six-seven, right? Okey, where do you live?

Ad.: I live in Aharnon st.

P.O.: Aharnon st., what is the number?

Ad.: Near Ag. Panteleimonas.

P.O.: What was that?

Ad.: Can you hear me?

P.O.: Yes.

Ad.: Aharnon st., behind Agios Panteleimonas.

P.O: Sir?

Ad.: Do you know the big church?

P.O.: Yes.

Ad.: Yes, I don’t remember the number.

P.O.: Tell me your name again…

Ad.: My name is Adam Adam.

P.O.: Your father’s name?

Ad.: Ramin.

P.O.: Ok, I’ve got your phone number.

Ad.: Nice.

P.O.: If I need you, I’ll call you back.

Ad.: If you need me?

P.O.: Yes, I will call you back.

Ad.: Is this all? I heard on the TV you are those who help victims of attacks.

P.O.: Yes.

Ad.: You are telling me now, Sir, that if you need me you’ll call me back? That simple?

P.O.: It’s okey.

Ad.: So simple! Sir, some people are getting injured, some might die, and you are telling me “if I need you, I’ll call you back”?

P.O.: I didn’t hear you?

Ad.: People are killed, sir, there are attacks out there, people are scared to walk out on the street and you’re saying “if I need you, I’ll call you”?

P.O.: When there is an incident again, call the Police.

Ad.: When this happens to me again, I should call the police?

P.O.: A-ha.

Ad.: Aren’t you the police?

P.O.: Yes.

Ad.: You are the police.

P.O.: When they are near you again, call the police.

Ad.: The first time they attacked me, sir, I called the police. They broke my arm. The police asked me if I have “papers”.

P.O.: A-ha.

Ad.: You find this right?

P.O.: …

Ad.: I’d just like to know what is right.

P.O.: Whatever. I’ve got your number. When I’ll need you, I shall call you.

Ad.: Thank you. Thanks for listening to me.

[Source: ‘Efimerida ton Sintakton’ newspaper, 12/02/2013, found online at:]