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Newspaper article

32 Bangladeshi workers wounded

Date

2013-04-18

Newspaper title

The Daily Star

Publisher

The Daily Star

Full text

At least 32 Bangladeshi workers have been wounded in a shooting on a strawberry farm in Greece after requesting salaries that had not been paid.

Seven of them were hospitalised and 25 others received first aid, BM Jamal Hossain, counselor of Bangladesh embassy in Greece, told The Daily Star over phone.

He said the workers went on strike on Wednesday as they were not being paid for the last six months.

The farm owner, Nicolas Vagela Kos, asked the demonstrators to go back to work otherwise threatened not to pay them the arrears, the official said.

But the agitating Bangladeshis refused to return to their work until their arrears were paid, he added.

Then two staffers of the farm — Vagela Kos — opened fire on the workers, leaving 32 of them wounded, Jamal said adding around 150 Bangladeshis were working at the farm.

On information, Greece police rushed to the spot and arrested the owner of the farm in Nea Manolada — about 260km west of Athens, is an area where thousands of migrant workers are employed — and one foreman.

Police meanwhile have filed a case against four people including the arrestees in connection with the incident, the counselor said.

Around 20,000 Bangladeshis working in the country were panicked immediately after the shooting, but normalcy has returned to them, he mentioned.

He said initially the Greek government has arranged treatment for the wounded, but it was not known immediately if the workers will get any compensation.

The Bangladesh embassy will sit wit the local administration on Friday to discuss the future of the workers following the incident.

The embassy official however said they would try to engage the workers to their work. In case of failure to return them to the farm, they would try to manage new jobs for the workers.

Due to economic recession, workers in Greece face delay in receiving payments.

According to BBC online, Nea Manolada has previously been in the spotlight over exploitation of migrants.

In 2008 workers staged a strike against inhumane conditions. There have also been reports of previous attacks.

A social media campaign has now been launched to boycott the fruit from Nea Manolada, calling them “blood strawberries”.

The Council of Europe – the main European human rights watchdog – issued a report this week detailing abuse against migrants in Greece.

The report warned of a growing wave of racist violence, stating that “democracy is at risk”.

Links

Keywords

Greece, Bangladeshi migrant workers, Shooting indident

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

Bangladesh

Spheres of activity

Social work

Languages

English