Published on Friday, January 11, 2013
Police in Greece have been accused of beating up tourists in an attempt to crack down on illegal immigration.
A report by the BBC says tourists have been caught up in a new operation by police to check the papers of people believed to be living in Greece illegally.
At least two tourists have been badly beaten, it says. One Korean who was asked for his passport by a Greek police officer told the BBC he had been punched in the face when he asked to see the officer's ID and he was then knocked to the ground and kicked.
Last July, a US citizen born in Nigeria, who had visited Rhodes and Santorini on a family holiday, claimed he was arrested and beaten until unconscious by police officers when he stopped off in Athens on his way home.
The BBC said it is thought that up to 95% of undocumented migrants entering the European Union arrive via Greece, and because border controls make it hard to continue further, many end up stuck in the country.
According to some estimates, immigrants could now make up as much as 10% of the population.
More than 60,000 people have been detained on the streets of Athens since the operation to crack down on illegal immigration was launched last August, said the BBC, but there have been fewer than 4,200 arrests.
The UK Foreign Office says travellers to Greece should remember to carry identification with them. The advice on its website says: "In common with many countries there is a requirement in Greece to be able to identify yourself.
"A copy of your passport or photographic ID, which identifies you as a British citizen, should be carried at all times
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