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article imageGreece: Manolada strawberry field shooters claim self-defence

By Katerina Nikolas     Apr 20, 2013 in World
Greek police have arrested the three strawberry field foremen who fired at a group of 200 migrant workers from Bangladesh, in Manolada, Peloponnese. The three men claim they were acting in self-defence against a mob.
The prosecutor is preparing a case of attempted homicide against the three foremen involved in the strawberry fields shootings in Manolada.
According to Proto Thema the three perpetrators claim to have acted in self-defence as they were afraid the foreign workers would turn bats and metal pipes against them. They further claim that shots were fired towards the ground to prevent the workers turning on them, and the bullets ricocheted into the crowd causing the injuries to 27 men.
The claims are not substantiated by witness statements though. Autopsy reports from the incident also contradict the claims.
Newsit reports that exploitation of foreign workers in Manolada has been rife for 12 years with authorities turning a blind eye to the conditions. Journalists who attempted to expose the slave labour conditions were routinely threatened. Workers lived in ramshackle conditions lacking basic hygiene, toiling to send money back to their home countries from low black market wages.
Assumptions have been made that the violence ensued under the auspices of the ultra-national party Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi), with reports of xenophobic and racist violence. The party categorically deny any direct or indirect involvement, berating the lack of honest and objective information which has linked the party to Manolada.
As the events in Manolada unfolded the party released this statement, saying "Golden Dawn condemns the events of Manolada and shots against aliens." It further condemned all those who "illegally provide work for illegal immigrants" while also condemning the political establishment who tolerate the black labour market and exploitation. The party's position remains firmly against all employment of illegal workers.
The Ministry of Public Order has confirmed that any illegals amongst those injured in the strawberry field shootings will not be subject to deportation.
More about Manolada shootings, Bangladeshis Manolada, Manolada strawberry fields, Areopoli, Chrysi Avgi
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