EFJ Condemns Police Violence against Greek Journalists

 

The European

Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the use of force by the police

against media workers covering protest on Syntagma Square in Athens.

 

"The

public in Greece and around the world have the right to know what is happening

as the country is go through a major crisis," said EFJ President Arne

König. "It is intolerable that journalists and media workers are prevented

to work in public places or even worse, be specifically targeted by police

violence."

 

On Wednesday

5 October, during the general strike in Greece, seven journalists and

photojournalists from Greek and foreign media covering the events were

violently attacked by Police Special Forces.  The EFJ is concerned about

this development as this kind of incident was not an isolated case in Greece. Journalist

Manolis Kypraios was disabled because of the violence at the hands of Police

Special Forces while covering the protest on 15 July 2011 and his case is being

heard by a Court today, according to reports.

 

The EFJ

supports the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) and

fully agrees with their statement that “police have to take care that

fundamental and constitutional rights of assembly and informing the citizens

are duly enforced [and] be in the service of the citizens.”

 

Together with

their Greek affiliates, the EFJ calls Greek authorities and in particular the

Minister for Citizen Protection, Mr Christos Papoutsis, to fully investigate

these incidents and to bring those responsible for violence against media to

justice. According to information given to the JUADN, the Police Special Forces

were acting on orders of the minister himself “not to allow reports of abuses

against citizens”.

 

“If this is

confirmed, it would be extremely dangerous for press freedom in Greece,” says

König. “We would expect the minister himself to take responsibility for these

attacks against journalists.”

 

The EFJ also

expresses its sympathies to all the journalists who were injured.

 

For more

information, please contact the EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 00

 

The EFJ

represents more than 260.000 members in over 30 countries