Greece: Young Palestinian faces charges amid political backlash
A young Palestinian protester is facing charges under Article 141 of the Penal Code, leading to public outcry amidst allegations of political bias and misinformation. The charges state that the protester's actions "expose the Greek state, its allies, or its inhabitants to the risk of reprisals or disruption of the friendly relations of the Greek state or its allies with a foreign state."
The case has become a hot topic on social media, with far-right trolls repeatedly claiming that the young man lowered the Greek flag. Meanwhile, the Minister for Protection of the Citizens, Yiannis Economou, lauded the Hellenic Police's swift action in the arrest amidst a "challenging and charged environment."
SYRIZA, Greece's main opposition party, has supported the young Palestinian. Parliamentary spokesman Nasos Iliopoulos called the prosecution an "act of shame" lacking a legal basis. They accused the government of using the case to legitimize far-right propaganda, stating: "Junta-minded practices cannot criminalize solidarity with the Palestinian people."
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) deemed the police action "unacceptable and provocative," criticizing the government for criminalizing popular mobilizations of solidarity in Palestine. The KKE also raised concerns over using social media to identify the protesters and activate Article 141 of the Penal Code.
The political party MERA25 also denounced the arrest, arguing that the Greek government's alliance with Israel's military operations poses a greater risk to the Greek state and its people than the protester's actions. The party called for the immediate release of the young Palestinian.
Meanwhile, a massive Palestinian flag was hung on the façade of the PAME office building, sending the message: "Terrorism will not pass! With Palestine as freedom until the crime in Gaza stops. Until people live in peace without exploitation, poverty, and wars. The flag of Palestine will fly in our demonstrations and struggles."