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Greek police Photoshop away bruises in mug shots, prompting public outcry

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A Greek prosecutor has asked for an investigation into whether retouched mug shots are covering up evidence of police brutality, Reuters reports. Earlier in February, four young men were arrested during an attempted armed bank robbery, and photos taken at the time of their arrest show heavy bruises or split lips. Mug shots released not long afterwards, though, didn't match up — they'd been poorly Photoshopped, with injuries apparently gone.

Critics have accused police of singling out and beating the suspects, then altering photographs to downplay the extent of their injuries. "My son — and the others arrested — was not treated like every other law violator but with particular hatred because he is an anarchist," says the mother of one of the suspects. Two of the men are accused of being part of the Conspiracy of Fire Cells, an anarchist group linked with several firebombings.

"If they hadn't been Photoshopped... then the photos wouldn't have been published in the first place."

The police aren't denying the injuries, but they say they were incurred during the arrest, not as retribution. Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias also defended the use of Photoshop. "If they hadn't been Photoshopped," he said, "in order to make them resemble an image that the average person would recognize them in, then the photos wouldn't have been published in the first place."