EFJ Renews its Calls for Respect of Journalists’ Rights in Greece

Read this Release in French


The European

Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned the behavior of the Greek

police and its special riot forces who this week brutally attacked journalists covering

rallies in Athens following the suicide of a retired person on Monday.

"We call upon once

more on the Greek authorities, and in particular the police to let journalists

do their work freely. We express our deep anger and frustration that Marios

Lakos, the President of the Union of Greek Photojournalists, and other

journalists were beaten by the police," said EFJ President Arne König.  "The Greek people as well as European citizens

have the right to know what is happening in Greece. This implies the respect

for basic standards of the press freedom and fundamental human rights."

Marios Lolos suffered

serious head injuries yesterday when covering the protests which were sparked

by the suicide of a 77- year- old retired pharmacist in Syntagma Square,

Athens, who took his own life on Monday morning while people were passing by. He

left a hand written note which was found nearby, saying that despite paying all

his life for a decent pension, he could not live with decency on his reduced



During the

protests following this very grave incident the police used excessive violence

against journalists and photojournalists covering the events in Syntagma Square

and injured seven more journalists. The previous day, journalist Rena Maniou

was also severely beaten by security forces.

The EFJ supports

the continuing efforts of all its affiliates in Greece who have been discussing

the need for safety and press freedom rights with the former Minister of Protection of

the Citizen. Last year, the authorities told journalists' leaders that "the

political and physical leadership of EL.AS. (Greek Police) is devoted to the

protection of the democratic rights and treats the information vocation with

the needed sensitivity and shall make every effort so that it can be exercised

freely and unobstructed". Despite these assurances, police violence against

journalists continues unabated.


have been several recent incidents in which journalists suffered excessive

police brutality while doing their job, including the case of journalist

Manolis Kypraios who lost his hearing, Dimitris Trimis JUADN president who had

an arm broken, journalist Georgos Avgeropoulos and photojournalist Tatiana


The EFJ is the European group of the International

Federation of Journalists
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in 30 countries


For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2