GREECE: Greek authorities must find strategy for the protection of press workers, SEEMO calls

GREECE, 23/12/2017

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is alarmed about developments in Greece and condemned the attacks in Thessaloniki, Greece against the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH) and two municipal media outlets.

On Wednesday, 20 December, a group of about twenty hooded individuals attempted to enter the premises of TV station TV1000 and radio station FM1000. They did not make it further than the entrance, but the group still managed to break windows on the headquarters, damage vehicles belonging to the media, threw paint and left slogans against journalists. A media worker was hit with a crowbar and required medical assistance. 

The following day, 21 December, a group of about ten masked attackers stormed the offices of ESIEMTH, where they threatened the staff present at the time to “not move” as “an intervention was about to happen”. They then destroyed several computers, a TV, as well as printers and chairs before leaving the premises.

According to sources, a police investigation has been launched, and SEEMO expressed support for swift actions and penalties against any attackers that are identified. Greek press workers must be protected from such threats and brutal physical attacks. A message must be sent to all perpetrators of similar and future attacks that no censoring or violence can disrupt the freedom of speech in Greece. 

SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.

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