Letter from prison, by a roma male imprisoned during the race riots in Aitoliko
In early August 2012, Greek residents of the town of Aitoliko (or Aetolico) clashed with some Roma residents of the area. In his letter below, Vasileios Mpekos, a roma male arrested during the events, gives his view of what happened.
“The recent events in Aetolico, begun with the gathering of som local residents at the western roadbridge. These residents where not gathered under a peaceful context, since they were carrying firearms, molotov cocktails, clubs etc.
Their march to the area where the Roma leave, brought the second ones to a defensive stance, defending their lives and properties. It was the residents of Aetolico that marched against the Roma with hostile intentions, and not the Roma against these residents. Thus, penal code offenses were commited by both sides, but unfortunatelly all arrests were made from one side, the weaker one, the one in defence, the side of the Roma. The molotov cocktails and the shotguns on the Aetoliko residents’ side were ignored. No arrests were made from the Aetoliko residents’ side that displayed illegal behaviour, such as obstruction of transport, possession and use of firearms etc.”