Cops: Vigilantes Abduct Principal Over COVID Measures

Greek principal was driven to police station, where his alleged attackers were then detained
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2021 7:46 AM CST
Cops: Vigilantes Abduct Principal Over COVID Measures
A man in handcuffs.   (Getty Images/Andrey Mikhaylov)

(Newser) – Police in northern Greece have jailed several people who allegedly handcuffed a principal, forced him into a car, then drove him to a police station, demanding he be arrested for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, members of the group known as Guardians of the Constitution, who argue the restrictions violate constitutional freedoms, were detained and now face charges of abduction, assault, disturbing the peace, and breaching health regulations. Three people are in jail pending trial while eight others were released on condition that they stay in the country, keep 400 yards from schools, and regularly present themselves at a police station, per the AP. Three are parents of children who attend the school near the town of Katerini, reports the New York Times.

Police said nine men and two women attacked the 61-year-old principal on Friday before a COVID-19 entry check of students. The Guardians of the Constitution are just one group opposing restrictions meant to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in and around Thessaloniki, a city about 45 miles northeast of Katerini, per the AP. Greek authorities have vowed to quell the disturbance. A new law passed last week states parents who refuse to send their child to school because of virus restrictions (such as mask wearing) can be jailed for up to two years. People over 60 will also be required to get a coronavirus vaccination by mid-January—or else face a monthly fine equivalent to $113. Just 63.3% of the population is fully vaccinated, with vaccine hesitancy "moderately strong," per the Times. (Read more Greece stories.)

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