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Protest in Greece over death of Roma after police chase

Scores of people demonstrated Sunday in an Athens suburb against the death of a young Roma man whom police shot and killed in a car chase, a Greek news agency reported.

Around 100 Roma protesters blocked traffic on the highway near Aspropyrgos, a western suburb of the Greek capital which is home to a large Roma community, the Ana news agency said. 

Ana added that a demonstration was also held in Perama, near the port of Pireus where the 20-year-old man was killed overnight Friday. 

Police officers on motorcycles asked a young driver suspected of having stolen a car to stop for a document check but he refused, the police said in a statement.

It sparked a chase before officers opened fire on the vehicle, killing the driver, wounding a 16-year-old passenger and prompting a third man to flee, the Kathimerini newspaper said. 

The results of an autopsy will be made public on Monday, Kathimerini said.

The newspaper reported that a resident in the neighbourhood took an amateur video showing that nearly 20 bullets were fired during the incident.

Greek police said six of their officers were wounded.

Seven police officers who were arrested Saturday remain in custody pending a hearing Monday on charges of "culpable homicide," the police said.

Ellan Passe, an association representing Greece's Roma, expressed Sunday its "anger, deep sadness" over the young man's death.

"This event reminds us of numerous similar incidents in the last few years, murders of a racist nature against the Greek Roma community," the group said in a statement.

Ellan Passe said 300,000 Roma live in Greece, a country of more than 10 million people, but the authorities put the number at 110,000.

Topics: Ellan Passe , Greece , Roma , Aspropyrgos
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