IFJ/EFJ Condemn Latest Attack on Greek Journalist by ‘Golden Dawn’ Members

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have condemned the latest brutal attack against a Greek journalist by members of the Golden Dawn party, while also expressing their concern that police did not stop the incident.

According to IFJ/EFJ Greek affiliate, the Journalists' Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), STAR TV journalist Panagiotis Bousis was covering a Golden Dawn event on Monday evening, 9 December, in the Iraklion suburb of Athens when party members attacked him, beating him around the head. The cameraman recording the event for STAR TV was also physically abused and media coverage was prohibited from taking place.

According to JUADN, police were present at the meeting, but did not attempt to stop the attack.

"We strongly condemn this disgraceful attack by Golden Dawn members against journalists who were simply doing their jobs," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "It is clear that Golden Dawn are no longer just threatening and journalists, their actions have now escalated to acts of intimidation and violence.

"Golden Dawn members continue to use fear and harassment against Greek media and their blatant disregard for media freedom cannot be tolerated.  We urge the authorities in Greece to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident and bring the perpetrators to swift justice."   

JUADN has strongly condemned the attack, reiterating its stance that Greek journalists will not be intimidated by Golden Dawn "criminal Nazis" and stating that the lack of action by police was "astonishing."

Moschos Voitsidis, President of the Journalists' Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH), said that the actions of Golden Dawn were "horrific" and they are resorting to their "most cherished belief in violence," stating: "The authorities should know that protecting journalists from such attacks is not just a matter of protecting individuals, it amounts to fortifying democracy itself." 

Speaking following the attack, EFJ President Mogens Blicher-Bjerregård, said: "It is appalling that these journalists were attacked in such a manner, but also that the police who were present did nothing to stop it.

"No journalists should have to work under such circumstances. We call on the government, magistrates and police in Greece to do their duty and protect the safety and right of journalists so they can go about their daily work without the threat of intimidation and violence."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries