The non-governmental organization HumanRights360 is reconstructing by means of a video the chronicle of the murder of Nikos Sambanis, as well as the events which followed.
On the night of October 22, 2021, Nikos Sambanis, an 18-year-old Roma man from Aspropyrgos and father of 2 children, fell dead from police bullets during a pursuit. The Greek police immediately leaked that, seven police officers were injured during the pursuit, while his family’s lawyers report irregularities and lies, so that the police can construct a “palatable” death.
The case highlights a series of attacks that the rule of law in Greece has been facing for several years. At HumanRights360 we give priority to tackling human rights violations, as a condition for safeguarding the sense of legal certainty and social peace. To this end, in collaboration with the legal representation of the Sambanis family, we retell the story in a short video. This time, the incident is described through a video depicting the events as they seem to have actually taken place based on the evidence:
The video makes it clear that the incident unfortunately sums up all those features that make up what is referred to internationally as “bad policing”:
racist reflexes in the exercise of the police duties (racial/ethnic profiling),
autonomous action of the police task forces, who repeatedly ignored the orders of the operational center
excessive use of force
institutional cover-up after the incident
Despite the state’s repeated declarations for the introduction of community policing models that will restore a sense of security in the neighborhoods, what is unfortunately observed in incidents such as the murder of Nikos Sambanis, is the complete opposite: a neighborhood was shot with 36 bullets for a car which was not even at the time reported as stolen, by police officers who, while bypassing the operational center’s orders, now enjoy full political backing and did not even get suspended.
On the night of October 22, 2021, 18-year-old Nikos Sambanis was sentenced to death and his sentence was not decided in court. The chronicle of his murder raises many questions about the state of the rule of law in Greece. And it inevitably leads to a key question: “At the end of the day, would you like your family to sleep in an neighborhood with such policing, in an area that could be shot with 36 bullets?”