Socialist Worker

Victory for anti-fascist movement in Greece as murderers are jailed

The jailing of two Nazis for a racist murder will have wider implications writes Thanasis Kampagiannis

Issue No. 2400

The banner of the Pakistani Community of Greece on a protest in Athens for justice for Shehzad Luqman

The banner of the Pakistani Community of Greece on a protest in Athens for justice for Shehzad Luqman (Pic: Workers Solidarity)


There was a sense of justice being served as Shehzad Luqman’s parents exited the Mixed Juror Court of Athens on Tuesday 15 April. 

After a long trial, the court decided that the two fascists who killed 27 year old Shehzad were guilty of murder and will serve life in prison.

Shehzad was a Pakistani migrant who came to Greece in 2009. He worked in a fruit market to send money to his family, two parents, eight sisters and one brother. 

In the early hours of 17 January 2013 he got on his bicycle to go to work at 2am, as he did every day. 

One hour later, in the neighbourhood of Petralona, two Greek men on a motorbike attacked him, stabbing him seven times. 

The two men were later arrested due to a description given by a Greek couple living above the scene of the crime. 

Knives

After searching their homes, the police found more knives, brass knuckles, plastic guns, baseball bats and 120 election leaflets of the Nazi Golden Dawn party.

The two fascists tried to present their crime as the result of a fight, claiming Shehzad blocked the road to their motorcycle with his bike. This scandalous allegation was accepted by the police and the judicial authorities. 

The racist motives of the perpetrators were never examined, nor were their links with the Nazi Golden Dawn. 

So, a campaign started for Justice for Shehzad. 

There was a big demonstration two days after the murder. Under the slogan “Athens Anti?Fascist City” the banner of the Pakistani Community of Greece with a big photo of Shehzad led the march to Syntagma Square in central Athens.

This banner has never missed a workers’ strike or an anti-fascist demonstration since. 

But the campaign really took off when the Pakistani community and the anti?fascist coalition Keerfa brought Shehzad’s parents, Khadim Hussain and Sukhran Bibi, to Athens for the trial.  

Shehzad’s parents had never left Pakistan before. 

They fought like lions— touring Greek cities, neighbourhoods and universities to claim justice for their son. 

They led the anti-racist demonstration on 22 March in Athens this year. 

The impact in Greek society was huge. The court was full of supporters of the family every day. 

In the end the state prosecutor, in an impressive U-turn, was obliged to admit that Shehzad’s murder was due to his ethnic origin. 

Unanimous

The court decision—by four jurors and three judges—for life in prison with no mitigation was unanimous.  

This is a big victory for the movement in Greece. The verdict will have a important and positive impact on an upcoming legal case against Golden Dawn as an organisation. 

Keerfa has stated that we will fight the fascists on all fronts.

This means we will have a legal presence in all the courts against Golden Dawn members. 

But it mainly means building a militant anti-racist and anti-fascist movement in the streets that will not let the Nazis use the May municipal and European elections to spread their poison.

The best way to commemorate Shehzad’s memory is to defeat the Nazis. 

And this is what we shall do.

Thanasis Kampagiannis is the lawyer of the Luqman family. He is a member of SEK and Keerfa

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