Victims Data
Victims Nationality/Ethnic Origin N/A
Victims Gender N/A
Victims Age N/A
Victims Number N/A
Fatalities - deaths N/A
Perpetrators Data
Perpetrators Nationality/Ethnic Origin Greek
Perpetrator Gender N/A
Perpetrator Age N/A
Perpetrators Number N/A
Extremist/Organised Group Violence No

Police launched a sweep-operation on Saturday August 4th, 2012, code named "Xenios Zeus", aimed at detaining and deporting migrants in the wider Athens area [1]. Attica Police General Directorate (GADA) announced that on Saturday, August 4th, 1100 immigrants were arrested and 4900 brought in for questioning (1130 of those did not meet the legal conditions fro residency in Greece), while on Sunday, August 5th, 395 were arrested and 1130 immigrants were brought in for questioning [1 & 2].

From Athens News, 06.08.2012: “The immigration problem is maybe even bigger than the financial one,” Public Order and Citizens' Protection Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday, in an agonised effort to raise awareness on the magnitude of the problem. Speaking on Skai radio, Dendias called the immigration issue a “bomb at the foundations of the society and of the state”. Dendias warned that “unless we create the proper structure to handle immigration, then we will fall apart”. Dendias asked from the Greek society to back the government’s efforts, in order to achieve this goal. He also said that the “invasion of immigrants” is the biggest this country has faced since the invasion of the Dorians at the 4th century B.C. and called on the local authorities to cooperate with the government, arguing that “Greece and our existence is under threat” [2].

Mass expulsion operation, "Xenios Zeus" raised much criticism from left-wing parties, as well as from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Human Rights Watch called Greece to stop massive rounds-ups of migrants, based on "little more than their physical appearance" and warned that massive expulsions are forbidden by International Law. Benjamin Ward, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch, said "Greece has the right to enforce its immigration laws and after a fair process to deport people with no legal basis to stay in the country, [...] but it doesn't have the right to treat people like criminals or to presume irregular immigration status just because of their race or ethnicity" [2].

Amnesty International also asked for Greece to halt the process. Jezerca Tigani, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia Program, said that “While Greece has the right to control migration, it does not have the right to treat people in the street like criminals purely because of the color of their skin. [...] The scale of the police operation in Athens at the weekend raises serious concerns about discrimination on the basis of perceived ethnicity". She added that "the police operation could fuel further attacks on migrants" and called on "Greek authorities to improve access to asylun" [4].


  1. Athens News, 05.08.2012, Operation "Xenios Zeus" sweeps through Athens, Accessed on 09.08.2012.
  2. Athens News, 06.08.2012, Dendias sounds alarm on immigration, Accessed on 09.08.2012.
  3. International Business Times, 08.08.2012, Greece: Call to End to Mass Deportation of Migrants, Accessed on 09.08.2012.
  4. Kathimerini, 08.08.2012, Rights groups slam migrant round-ups,, Accessed on 09.08.2012.