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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Greek journalists attacked in Athens

Star TV reporter, cameraman report beating at Golden Dawn event 

Supporters of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party protest around a flag during a rally at central Syntagma square in Athens on Nov. 30, 2013. Hundreds of supporters gathered outside parliament to protest the pre-trial detention of their leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, who faces charges of forming a criminal organisation. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

VIENNA, Dec 12, 2013 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), today expressed alarm at the latest violent attack on a journalist and cameraman in Greece, and the reaction by police to the incident.

On Monday, supporters of the far-right Popular Association – Golden Dawn party allegedly beat Greek journalist Panagiotis Bousis of Star TV as he reported from an event organised by the party in Iraklion, a suburb in the northern part of Athens. They also allegedly attacked a Star TV cameraman who was filming the event, which brought together around 300 Golden Dawn members and supporters.

SEEMO said it was especially concerned by claims that uniformed police officers did not react to the incident, despite being present several meters away when it took place.

The organisation noted that this was not the first incident in Greece in which members or supporters of the Golden Dawn party have allegedly threatened or attacked journalists. SEEMO has recorded an increase in the number of attacks and amount of pressure put on journalists in recent years, especially during 2012.

“Greek police and courts appear to be slow when investigating and condemning attacks against journalists,” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said. “We call on authorities in Athens to react urgently in response to this attack. We also call, in particular, on the minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection to explain the behaviour of his police officers during this incident.”

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