You are currently viewing INTERNAL VIOLENCE AT PATRAS’ PORT


Report by Madita Strähle

At approximately 2:30 am on April 27, 2023, a 41-year-old male individual from Afghanistan, reported being beaten by a port security guard with an electrical shock baton while attempting to climb the fence to the port area in Patras, Greece. The beating caused the man to fall from a height of approximately 2.5 metres, resulting in severe physical injuries to his back, ribs, and lung. 

A drawing by the survivor illustrating the assault.

“When they laughed at me, threw water in my face, and filmed me, I didn’t want to be alive anymore.”  

The man and his Afghan companion were attempting to board a docking vessel headed for Bari, Italy, the next morning. The two men were sitting on a five-metre-wide land strip of rocks alongside the fencing of the port area, facing the sea, after having approached the port area of Patras, Greece in the early morning around 2:00 am on April 27.

Screenshot of  the Patras Port Area. The red marker shows the exact spot of where the defendant and his companion were trying to climb the fence.

“Coming closer to the harbour, we passed a first security camera and then a second one that was rolling. We were hiding, in case the port guards saw us on camera.” 

A video recorded by the survivor moments before the assault. The recording stops because the man spots a port security guard with a dog in the distance.  

According to the man, he was the first to climb the fence when there was no port security in sight while his companion watched from the rocky shore. Both men recount a security guard in a navy-coloured uniform approaching on a motorbike from inside the fenced port area. The respondent assumes this guard to have been a port security guard as they are the authority operating within the port area. 

The survivor testified that he was sitting on top of the fence with his right leg dangling down towards the port zone and his left leg hanging towards the outside area when the security guard approached. The security guard dismounted his motorbike, took off the white helmet and beat the man once with an electric shock baton on the foot.

Both the man and his companion described the guard, as roughly 1.80 metres tall, wearing a navy coloured uniform and bald-headed.  

The electric shock caused the man immediate, intense pain, resulting in him falling backwards from a height of approximately 2.5 metres onto the rocks outside the fenced port area. Presumably, the impact of the fall caused the survivor to lose consciousness, as his companion claims he was unresponsive when he tried to help.

“I saw him fall from the fence with his back on a stone. I tried to drag him with me, away from the guards, but he did not respond. I knew he was in a very bad state, and I had to leave him behind.” 

Testimony from the companion

The survivor eventually regained consciousness after an unknown period, estimated by him to be around 20 minutes. On the opposite side of the fence, inside the port, the man saw approximately ten port security guards, including the one who had assaulted him. Due to the darkness and the severe pain the respondent was exposed to at the time, he cannot remember the guards individual features. 

Aereal view of the location of the assault.

According to the man, some of the guards were laughing and taking pictures and videos of him while he was unable to stand due to the intense pain in his back and foot. Despite his obvious injuries, the port security personnel did not call an ambulance.

 “I was in so much pain and they were telling me in sarcastic voices that I am weak and I must be stronger than this. When they laughed at me, threw water in my face, and filmed me, I didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

The survivor testified that, after a few more minutes, four police officers arrived in a car, inside the port area, causing the port security guards to cease their psychological abuse. The respondent assumes those four officers to have been of a high rank according to their authority over the other guards. The man described crawling on all fours along the rocky terrain outside the port fencing while being observed by both the port security guards and the Greek police officers from the inside of the port area. 

“I was in so much pain that I could not walk. So I started crawling along the stones on my hands and knees like a baby while the guards were watching me from the other side of the fence. They did nothing.” 

The man claimed that due to his injuries, it took him between 1,5 to 2 hours to reach “home”, an abandoned building where he lives, a distance that is usually covered by walking in 9 min. At home, the survivor suffered from severe pain, predominantly in his back for several hours.

“I had pain everywhere on my body except on my hands.” 

On the morning of April 27, at 9 am, the man was admitted to Patras General Hospital “Agios Andreas”, and around 4 pm he was hospitalised in the clinic.

In the emergency department, he was diagnosed with pneumothorax (a collapsed lung) to be treated by a tube placement for blood and air to be drained out, two broken ribs, a fractured vertebra, and a damaged maxillary sinus (a hollow space in the bones around the nose). In total, the man was hospitalised for a period of 7 days.