Police Clash With Demonstrators In Athens Protesting Repeal Of University Sanctuary Law

Police Clash With Demonstrators in Athens Protesting Repeal of University Sanctuary Law

Police used tear gas and stun grenades on Thursday against demonstrators in Athens, protesting the abolition of a law that banned Greek law enforcement from entering university grounds, a Sputnik correspondent reported

ATHENS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 31st October, 2019) Police used tear gas and stun grenades on Thursday against demonstrators in Athens, protesting the abolition of a law that banned Greek law enforcement from entering university grounds, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Greece overturned the university sanctuary law in August. The government said the decision was motivated by its desire to eliminate criminals who have allegedly hijacked the educational facilities to deal drugs and make petrol bombs on their campuses.

The march started at the University of Athens in the east of Greece's capital and headed to the central Syntagma Square. A group of protesters tried to break through a police cordon near the parliament building close by and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at law enforcement officers.

The epicenter of clashes between police and protesters took place near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was holding talks with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, at the time.

The sanctuary law was established in 1982 and was a legacy of the 1973 mass student demonstration in Athens in opposition of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.

In mid-November 1973, government forces drove a tank onto the campus of the Athens Polytechnic, resulting in bloodshed and killing at least 34 protesters on the university grounds.

The law has since been overturned and reinstated on numerous occasions, most recently being reinstated in 2017.

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