The Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Back with his family, the 26-year-old nursed his injuries and looked into suing the police. The government had come out in support of the officers' actions, declaring that Mangos - known to the authorities as a committed anarchist - had behaved in a threatening manner. But there was evidence to suggest that the police had overstepped the mark: the assault outside the courthouse had been filmed on protesters' phones.

Mangos joined a group of activists from the local anarchist and leftist scene who were planning a separate challenge against the local police, over its crackdown on a recent environmental demonstration. In Facebook updates, he explained why he had confronted the officers: he was angry about the environment, and about police brutality. He said the officers only let him go when they realised that he would need medical attention. "I heard them say they would be obliged to take me to hospital if they held me any longer," he wrote. "Two months of recovery now, and who knows how many years until I get justice." 

Whatever form that justice eventually takes, it will come too late for Mangos. One month after his encounter with the police, he was found dead - the result of a drugs overdose. The Mangos family believes he was using drugs to cope with the impact of the assault, and it holds the police partly responsible for his death. "Without it being a figure of speech, we believe that Vasilios died a month after his murder," Mangos' father, Yannis, told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN. However, a report by the Volos prosecutor concluded that there was no evidence that Mangos' injuries had led to his death; he was killed by the heroin and prescription sedatives in his system.

In 2020, Greece's human rights watchdog, the...

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