Golden Dawn MPs Detained Following Attack

Two newly elected Greek MPs from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party were detained after an attack on a Pakistani immigrant.

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Rachel Hirshfeld,

'Golden Dawn' neo-Nazi leader Mihaloliakos
'Golden Dawn' neo-Nazi leader Mihaloliakos

Two newly elected Greek MPs from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party were among six people briefly detained after an attack on a Pakistani immigrant, a police source said, according to the Agence France Presse (AFP).

The two lawmakers, Ilias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Vouldis, as well as leader Nikos Michaloliakos's daughter, were taken into custody but released shortly after due to a lack of evidence after the incident in Athens late Friday, according to the source.

The 31-year-old Pakistani man was assaulted by a group in helmets taking part in a motorbike demonstration "that started off from the headquarters of a political party," police said in a statement. 

The Golden Dawn Party, known for its unabashed anti-Semitism and anti-foreigner platform, won 7 percent of the vote, receiving 21 seats in parliament, in the May 6 elections.

Michaloliakos has claimed that Nazi concentration camps did not use gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust. As well, "Mein Kampf" is sold at party headquarters and the party’s symbol closely resembles a Nazi swastika. 

Meanwhile, three Greek non-governmental organizations welcomed a report by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) calling on Greece to act against what it said was a rising level of racism and related violence, noted the AFP.

"Greece should strongly combat the increasing manifestations of racial discrimination, xenophobia and related violence," the three groups cited the CAT report as saying.   

It called on Athens to condemn publicly all intolerance and violence and send "a clear and unambiguous message that racist or discriminatory acts, including by police and other public officials, are unacceptable."

A report that 18 monitoring NGOs released in March had said that racist attacks in Greece mostly go unreported and unpunished and had published a list of 63 racist attacks in just two cities over six months.