Eighteen Bangladeshi workers were injured in a shooting in a strawberry farm in Greece yesterday, after they asked their employer to pay their outstanding salaries.
About 30 migrant workers were injured in the incident, according to the BBC.
A Bangladesh foreign ministry official told the Dhaka Tribune that three of the workers were in a critical condition but that they were undergoing treatment.
“The owner of the firm has been arrested,” he added, whilst the BBC reported that a foreman from the farm had also been arrested.
The incident took place in Nea Manolada, southern Greece at around 4pm Greece time on Wednesday.
About 200 workers, mostly Bangladeshis, worked at the farm, the foreign ministry spokesman said, adding that an official from the Bangladesh mission in Athens went to Nea Manolada to assist the Bangladeshis.
Nea Manolada, about 260km west of the capital Athens, is an area where thousands of migrant workers are employed, the BBC report said.
The region has seen episodes of exploitation of migrant workers, reports the BBC. In 2008, migrant workers staged a strike against inhumane conditions.
A social media campaign has now been launched to boycott the fruit from Nea Manolada, calling them “blood strawberries.”
Only this week, the Council of Europe – a major EU rights watchdog – released a report detailing abuse against migrants in troubled Greece.
The report warned of a growing wave of racist violence, stating that, “democracy is at risk,” according to the BBC. The group’s report highlighted the role of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. The far right party have seen an upsurge in support as a result of Greece’s economic troubles, which started in 2009 with a government debt crisis. With public debt standing at around 176% of GDP by 2013, huge government cuts and tax increases have induced job losses and anger, which many blame for the upsurge in violent attacks on migrant workers.