Daily arrests of trans individuals without any reason have been taking place in Thessaloniki since Thursday 30th of May, as reported by the Greek Transgendered Support Association (SYD). SYD denounces the unaccaptable and offensive behavior of the police, while connecting the barrage of arrests to the statements of local authorities against Thessaloniki Pride.
The Association announced that they “will inform the international community about these sad incidents and they will defend the dignity of transgnder people by making use of the available legal means”.
SYD says in the announcement: “According to documended allegations by members of our Association who live in Thessaloniki, since Thursday 30th of May there have been ‘sweep-style’ police operations and arrests of trans people on a daily basis.
According to these allegations the arrests take place at the Police Station of Dimokratia square in Thessaloniki, where the transgender individuals are kept for at least 3-4 hours on the pretext of identity verification and sex work, while the attitude of the policemen towards the transgender individuals is offensive for their dignity and honour.
Indeed, in at least three of the complaints, it is mentioned that the policemen stopped the car of transgender women and arrested them without providing any reasons.
All the allegations complain about the unacceptable and offensive behaviour of the policemen, who responded to the protests of the transgender women by threatening them to sue them for disobedience.
The fact that the arrests have been taking place on a daily basis since 30.5.2013, coupled with the statements of local (public and church) authorities against the Thesaloniki Pride raises questions and suspicions that this targetting is intentional and has to do with the Pride and picks as its target the most vulnerable group within the LGTB community, the one of transgender people, who suffer multiple exclusions and intolerance and who are the easiest to attack.
The Transgendered Support Association (SYD) would like to remind that after similar ‘sweep’ operations in Athens (“Xenios Zeus”), where there have been similar arbitrary arrests, all the arrested transgender women that were arrested and came in touch with our Association were found innocent in court, while the court accepted the argument made by the defence that the coincidence of being transgender and present at a specific location cannot be taken to mean that this specific individual is carrying sex work or that she is “harassing” passers-by.
On the contrary, taking such an individual to court only based on the aforementioned coincidence means that her gender identity is criminalised, something that cannot be accepted in a well-governed democratic society.
The Transgendered Support Association strongly denounces these unacceptable practices that violate the human rights of transgender persons and states it will inform the international community about these sad incidents and defend the dignity of transgender people making use of the available legal means”.
Translated from in.gr’s news website, 04/06/2013. Available on-line at: http://news.in.gr/greece/article/?aid=1231251670