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Pictures | Fri Dec 7, 2012 | 4:35am IST

Greece's migrant class

<p>Hassan Mekki, a 32-year-old Sudanese migrant, shows scars on his back in Athens December 5, 2012. Mekki, who fled conflict in his country in hopes of a better life in Europe, said he was attacked by a group of men holding Greek flags and left with the deep wounds on his back, throat and neck in August 2012, about five months after he illegally entered Greece. Mekki was walking in Athens with a friend from Mauritania when black-shirted men on motorcycles holding Greek flags and shouting "Go home black" and other racists insults came up and knocked him out with a blow to the head. He was covered in blood when he regained consciousness and only later realized that his attackers, which he says were likely tied to the far-right Golden Dawn party, had left large gashes resembling an "X" across his back. "I don't have the right papers, so I can't go anywhere to ask for help," Mekki said. "I can't sleep. I'm scared, maybe they will follow me and my life is in danger now." 

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

Hassan Mekki, a 32-year-old Sudanese migrant, shows scars on his back in Athens December 5, 2012. Mekki, who fled conflict in his country in hopes of a better life in Europe, said he was attacked by a group of men holding Greek flags and left with...more

Hassan Mekki, a 32-year-old Sudanese migrant, shows scars on his back in Athens December 5, 2012. Mekki, who fled conflict in his country in hopes of a better life in Europe, said he was attacked by a group of men holding Greek flags and left with the deep wounds on his back, throat and neck in August 2012, about five months after he illegally entered Greece. Mekki was walking in Athens with a friend from Mauritania when black-shirted men on motorcycles holding Greek flags and shouting "Go home black" and other racists insults came up and knocked him out with a blow to the head. He was covered in blood when he regained consciousness and only later realized that his attackers, which he says were likely tied to the far-right Golden Dawn party, had left large gashes resembling an "X" across his back. "I don't have the right papers, so I can't go anywhere to ask for help," Mekki said. "I can't sleep. I'm scared, maybe they will follow me and my life is in danger now." REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>An Afghan asylum seeker holding a child stands in front of riot policemen during a demonstration outside the Greek parliament in Athens, January 21, 2011. 

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

An Afghan asylum seeker holding a child stands in front of riot policemen during a demonstration outside the Greek parliament in Athens, January 21, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

An Afghan asylum seeker holding a child stands in front of riot policemen during a demonstration outside the Greek parliament in Athens, January 21, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>An illegal immigrant stands inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. 

REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis </p>

An illegal immigrant stands inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis

An illegal immigrant stands inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis

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<p>An Afghan refugee on a hunger strike with his mouth sewn shut, seeks asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011.

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

An Afghan refugee on a hunger strike with his mouth sewn shut, seeks asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

An Afghan refugee on a hunger strike with his mouth sewn shut, seeks asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Would-be immigrants wait on a Frontex ship for Greek authorities to move them in a police station, at Piraeus port near Athens, June 12, 2011. 

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

Would-be immigrants wait on a Frontex ship for Greek authorities to move them in a police station, at Piraeus port near Athens, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Would-be immigrants wait on a Frontex ship for Greek authorities to move them in a police station, at Piraeus port near Athens, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A Greek policewoman assists an immigrant from Afghanistan who had earlier entered Greece after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, on a road near Neochori, December 24, 2011.

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

A Greek policewoman assists an immigrant from Afghanistan who had earlier entered Greece after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, on a road near Neochori, December 24, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A Greek policewoman assists an immigrant from Afghanistan who had earlier entered Greece after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, on a road near Neochori, December 24, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Irena, a 50 years old Polish homeless worker, smokes a cigarette on a bench at a park, where she lives, in central Athens, January 15, 2012. Irena's husband had died on Christmas day next to her in the same park. 
 REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

Irena, a 50 years old Polish homeless worker, smokes a cigarette on a bench at a park, where she lives, in central Athens, January 15, 2012. Irena's husband had died on Christmas day next to her in the same park. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Irena, a 50 years old Polish homeless worker, smokes a cigarette on a bench at a park, where she lives, in central Athens, January 15, 2012. Irena's husband had died on Christmas day next to her in the same park. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>An Iranian refugee with his mouth sewed, lies on a pavement during a hunger strike outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens, August 6, 2010.

REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis </p>

An Iranian refugee with his mouth sewed, lies on a pavement during a hunger strike outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens, August 6, 2010. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

An Iranian refugee with his mouth sewed, lies on a pavement during a hunger strike outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens, August 6, 2010. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>Immigrants wait outside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012. 

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

Immigrants wait outside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Immigrants wait outside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A woman kisses a baby inside a room of a refugee guest house in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, January 14, 2011.

REUTERS/Grigoris Siamidis </p>

A woman kisses a baby inside a room of a refugee guest house in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, January 14, 2011. REUTERS/Grigoris Siamidis

A woman kisses a baby inside a room of a refugee guest house in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, January 14, 2011. REUTERS/Grigoris Siamidis

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<p>A North African illegal immigrant eats by railway tracks at his temporary shelter in Athens on Orthodox Good Friday, April 13, 2012. 

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

A North African illegal immigrant eats by railway tracks at his temporary shelter in Athens on Orthodox Good Friday, April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A North African illegal immigrant eats by railway tracks at his temporary shelter in Athens on Orthodox Good Friday, April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>An immigrant carries fruits and vegetables in front of a police formation during an anti-Nazi rally in Athens, March 17, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis </p>

An immigrant carries fruits and vegetables in front of a police formation during an anti-Nazi rally in Athens, March 17, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

An immigrant carries fruits and vegetables in front of a police formation during an anti-Nazi rally in Athens, March 17, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>A man talks with his lawyer inside the administration office for immigrants in Athens, June 30, 2009. REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

A man talks with his lawyer inside the administration office for immigrants in Athens, June 30, 2009. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

A man talks with his lawyer inside the administration office for immigrants in Athens, June 30, 2009. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>An immigrant pushes an empty shopping trolley past graffiti in a poor Athens neighbourhood, January 30, 2012. 
REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

An immigrant pushes an empty shopping trolley past graffiti in a poor Athens neighbourhood, January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

An immigrant pushes an empty shopping trolley past graffiti in a poor Athens neighbourhood, January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Immigrants and asylum seekers, with their mouths taped, protest to demand for asylum in central Athens, February 1, 2011. 

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

Immigrants and asylum seekers, with their mouths taped, protest to demand for asylum in central Athens, February 1, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Immigrants and asylum seekers, with their mouths taped, protest to demand for asylum in central Athens, February 1, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A police officer conducts a body search on an immigrant during an operation in the centre of Athens, December 5, 2012. 

 REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

A police officer conducts a body search on an immigrant during an operation in the centre of Athens, December 5, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

A police officer conducts a body search on an immigrant during an operation in the centre of Athens, December 5, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>Illegal immigrants from Pakistan make their way along the Egnatia Motorway heading south near Feres town, on Christmas day, after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, December 25, 2011. 

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

Illegal immigrants from Pakistan make their way along the Egnatia Motorway heading south near Feres town, on Christmas day, after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, December 25, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Illegal immigrants from Pakistan make their way along the Egnatia Motorway heading south near Feres town, on Christmas day, after crossing the Turkish-Greek border in Evros river area, December 25, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Egyptian immigrant Waleed Taleb sits inside his home in the island of Salamina near Athens, November 28, 2012.

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

Egyptian immigrant Waleed Taleb sits inside his home in the island of Salamina near Athens, November 28, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Egyptian immigrant Waleed Taleb sits inside his home in the island of Salamina near Athens, November 28, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A man walks past graffiti outside the Athens' Academy in central Athens, December 6, 2012.

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

A man walks past graffiti outside the Athens' Academy in central Athens, December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A man walks past graffiti outside the Athens' Academy in central Athens, December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Immigrants wait inside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012.

REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

Immigrants wait inside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Immigrants wait inside a medical centre of the Greek delegation of the Doctors of the World in Athens, December 4, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>Immigrants on a hunger strike lie inside a hall of a Law University in Athens, January 25, 2011. . REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis </p>

Immigrants on a hunger strike lie inside a hall of a Law University in Athens, January 25, 2011. . REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

Immigrants on a hunger strike lie inside a hall of a Law University in Athens, January 25, 2011. . REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>Illegal immigrants stand inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. 

REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis </p>

Illegal immigrants stand inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis

Illegal immigrants stand inside a newly-built detention camp at Amygdaleza suburb, the first such camp in the wider area of Athens, April 29, 2012. REUTERS/Eurokinissi/Costas Katopodis

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<p>An Afghan refugee and his daughter seek asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011. 
 REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

An Afghan refugee and his daughter seek asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

An Afghan refugee and his daughter seek asylum outside the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry in Athens, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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