The European Federation of Journalists has strongly condemned a vicious and brutal attack on a journalist while she was carrying out an investigation into an electricity blackout on a Greek island. The attack has left her in hospital in a critical condition.
She was set upon by a security agent when she visited an electricity station on the island of Hios where power across the island had suddenly been lost.
“This is a shocking and intolerable attack that has left us all deeply concerned,” said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This is an appalling violation of press freedom and raises anew questions about the protection of journalists in an age when security is fast becoming a code-word for reckless and violent behaviour.”
The incident took place last Saturday when the reporter, Aggeliki Hatzidimitriou, was assigned to cover the electricity black out on Hios. At the power station on the island she was struck and severely injured by a private security agent. Hospital doctors said she suffered from “hysterical shock.” She was transferred by army helicopter to the general hospital of Athens where she has since remained unconscious.
The journalists’ Union of Athens and Union of Peloponnesian, Epirus and Islands, expressed its condemnation and called for an investigation and for those responsible to be brought to justice. They also asked the Minister of the Press, the Minister of Public Order and the Authority of Energy to take action over the case immediately.
“We hope that Ms Hatzidimitriou will make a rapid and full recovery,” said White “and we join the Greek union call for a full and transparent enquiry into this affair. It is imperative that those responsible are punished and that journalists can go about their work safely.”
For further information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 22 00
The EFJ represents over 160,000 journalists in more than 30 countries