A Greek prosecutor ordered an investigation on Monday into whether four suspected bank robbers were beaten in custody after police published mug shots that were altered to make their injuries appear less severe.
Rights groups and critics have long accused Greek police of detaining immigrants and other prisoners in shocking conditions. Â
Photos published in the Greek media of the men, who were aged between 20 and 25 and arrested on Friday, show them bruised and bleeding while being escorted by police.
But mug shots released by the police over the weekend had injuries missing.
Missing? Â Either they have extremely efficient medical services in Greece, or…
Critics have accused police of singling out and beating the suspects, then altering photographs to downplay the extent of their injuries.
“My son â€” and the others arrested â€” was not treated like every other law violator but with particular hatred because he is an anarchist,” says the mother of one of the suspects.
Two of the men are accused of being part of the Conspiracy of Fire Cells, an anarchist group linked with several firebombings.
The police aren’t denying the injuries, but they say they were incurred during the arrest, not as retribution.
Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias also defended the use of Photoshop. “If they hadn’t been Photoshopped,” he said, “in order to make them resemble an image that the average person would recognize them in, then the photos wouldn’t have been published in the first place.”