Less than a week after an 11-year-old Afghan boy named Amir was denied the honour of holding the Greek flag at the October 28 national holiday parade, the family’s home in the middle class Dafni neighbourhood of Athens was stoned.
Amir had been chosen in a lottery to hold the flag , but the school decided not to allow that. It is believed that this was because the boy was not Greek. In a humiliating gesture, the school administrators had him carry a sign with the name of the school.
According to the police report, a group of unidentified individuals stoned the house before dawn, causing damages. The case was assigned to the Greek Police Racist Crimes Unit.
“The stones were hitting one after another. We will die. They will kill us,” the boy’s terrified mother, Arizou, said. The stones reportedly targeted the window of the children’s bedroom.
“At the time that they [the assailants] were breaking the windows, I was shouting for help. The children woke up and were crying. They were very scared. The children’s room was full of glass and a beer bottle landed on the bed. I called the owner of the home, who called the police.
The family arrived on the island of Lesvos a year-and-a-half ago, and is now living in a home provided by the Municipality of Athens Refugee Housing Programme, with assistance from the UNHCR.
Athens Mayor Yorgos Kaminis vehemently condemned the attack, and called on police to investigate the case quickly.
“Fascist tactics that aim to terrify not only do not daunt us, but rather firm up our decisiveness to continue the refugee hospitality and social induction programme,” he said.
The family today requested that the refugee housing programme transfer them to another residence.