02/05/2013 04:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Altered Mug Shots In Greece Prompt Investigation Into Alleged Police Brutality (PHOTO)


Authorities in Greece have opened an investigation into local police after mug shots of a group of suspected bank robbers were digitally altered -- perhaps to hide evidence of beatings.

A Greek prosecutor ordered the investigation on Monday, reports Reuters.

The young men were arrested on Friday in connection to a double bank robbery and were photographed in the custody of police. Those images show bruises and swelling on the men's faces. However, new images released by police over the weekend show less severe injuries on the men's faces.

According to the Associated Press, the four suspects were arrested in a village near Kozani, in northern Greece. Some of the men may also have ties to a domestic terrorist group.

The BBC reports that Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias admitted in a TV interview that the mug shots had been digitally changed, but that police were just trying to make the men look more recognizable.

Amnesty International supported the opening of an investigation, citing concerns about torture in police custody.

"The Greek authorities cannot just Photoshop their problems away. This culture of impunity needs to be stopped," Marek Marczynski, deputy director of Amnesty's Europe and Central Asia Programme, said in a press release.

The AP reported that one of the suspect's fathers had told local media his son had been hooded, forced to his knees and beaten for several hours by police.

Amnesty International, in its press release condemning the Greek police, notes that two groups of protesters arrested during clashes with Athens law enforcement in October also claimed they were tortured and humiliated while in custody. According to the Guardian, protesters alleged that police stripped them naked, beat them, used them as ash trays and denied them medical treatment during the ordeal.

altered mug shots greece

altered mug shots greece