The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Journalist Brutally Attacked in Greece

Via the Greek Helsinki Monitor and IFEX

The Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) condemns the 23 October 2008 assault on journalist Makis Nodaros, in his home town of Lechaina in Elia (Western Greece). The Elia regional correspondent for the Athens daily “Eleftherotypia”, the Patras daily “Imera”, the Patras television station Teletime, and the Patras radio station Radio Gamma, and also the host of a daily programme for the Elia radio station Ionian FM, was attacked by two unidentified men at around 11 a.m. (local time) on 23 October as he was returning home after his daily radio programme. They approached him, asked him if he was Makis Nodaros, and then punched and kicked him many times, even after he fell down and was bleeding. The two assailants tried to break his laptop, stole his mobile phone, and then fled on a motorcycle they had hidden near where the incident took place. He was offered first aid treatment at the regional medical center and was diagnosed with head, hand and foot wounds, and later returned home.

The 24 October edition of “Eleftherotypia” called the incident “an assassination attempt,” asked “who wants to silence him?” and added that “he annoyed some people with his articles and fell victim to a mafia-type attack.”

The journalist has a long record of revealing investigative reporting as well as systematic coverage of human rights issues. For that, he has occasionally been the target of defamation charges and convictions. He has recently published several articles about alleged corruption involving the mayor of the adjacent Elia town of Zacharo. The mayor reportedly succeeded in having him fired from a local Elia newspaper, and has also announced that he is filing lawsuits against Makis Nodaros and the newspapers he published his articles in. The mayor is also the target of judicial and administrative investigations.

GHM calls on the police to promptly and effectively investigate the assault and arrest the perpetrators lest the impression is given that such actions essentially enjoy impunity.

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7 Comments

  1. Xenos
    October 28, 2008    

    The massive corruption of Greece, encouraged by both the current ND government and previously by PASOK, is now completely out of control. Basically, decent people with a commitment to upholding the law and making Greece a better country to live in are being attacked verbally, legally and physically. This is the extent of the rotten state, and there is no obvious end to it in sight.

  2. Michael Scowcroft
    October 28, 2008    

    That’s terrible. I’m quite surprised that the Greek newspaper has seen fit to ask some pertinient questions about who wants to silence the journalist.

    What’s the media like in Greece? Do they generally have a free press to report on stories and publish investigative articles such as the above?

    As for my own country England the media is, surprise suprise, institutionally racist.

    Peter Herbert, who is a Judge and also a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority stated:
    “The media has never really accepted the term institutional racism.. the tabloid press avoid institutional racism applying to themselves but put that label on other people.. ”

    Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror.
    “Decision making by newspaper editors and broadsheet editors and by television editors over the years has been susceptible to what I would call subliminal racism; in the sense of a perception that the public would be more interested in for example; five young “white” teenagers dying in a car crash than they would be if they were five Asian or “black” teenagers dying in a car crash, and I remember decisions like that coming along and feeling somehow that we were making the wrong decision here and it was by any sense a racist view to down play one against the other and to pretend otherwise is to ignore what the media has done.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4651368.stm

  3. October 28, 2008    

    from http://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/index.php?sec=194&cid=3357

    October 24, 2008

    EFJ Condemns Beating of Journalists, Calls on Greece to Act

    The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the regional group of the International Federation of Journalists, today condemned the beating of journalist Makis Nodaros in Southern Greece, who appeared to be targeted for his investigative reporting on corruption and mismanagement of relief efforts for victims of Greek forest fires.

    “We are joining with our Greek colleagues to demand a full investigation that finds not only finding those who attacked Makis but also identifies those who ordered this shocking attack,” said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This is an appalling example of how journalists are increasingly being targeted for their work.”

    Nodaros recently wrote a number of articles exposing corruption and mismanagement over relief provided by the government, local authorities and non-government institutions for victims of forest fires, which last year destroyed a large part of the region. He had received threats before yesterday’s attack.

    Nodaros, a correspondent of the newspaper Eleftherotypia in the region of Helia in Peloponissos Southern Greece, was attacked on Thursday morning by two unidentified men. The two men approached the journalist in front of his apartment building, asked him if he was Makis Nodaros and when he said yes, they started attacking him. After beating him up, the men took his mobile phone and then escaped on a motorcycle.

    The journalist was taken to hospital where he was treated for injuries to his head, arms and legs and then released.

    The EFJ is joining with its member the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) to call for a full investigation into the attack and to ensure that journalists are not being targeted with impunity and that press freedom is protected.

    For more information contact the EFJ at 32 2 235 2200
    The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 countries in Europe
    http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/efj-calls-for-investigation-into-attack-on-greek-journalist

  4. Michael Scowcroft
    October 28, 2008    

    It’s interesting that the attackers took his mobile phone to make it look like a street mugging. But muggers don’t usually ask the names of their victims…..

    The victim seems to be ok, thankfully. I wish the same could be said for these poor people:

    ‘We could be clearly identified as press,’ one said, ‘but the troops kept firing’
    http://chrisgelken.blogspot.com/2007/11/israeli-troops-attack-journalists-in.html

    IFJ condemns Israeli settlers’ attack on Palestinian journalists
    http://www.arabmediawatch.com/amw/Articles/PressReleases/tabid/77/newsid391/5288/IFJ-condemns-Israeli-settlers-attack-on-Palestinian-journalists/Default.aspx

    JOURNALIST GROUPS CONDEMN ISRAELI ATTACK ON LEBANON TV STATIONS
    http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/journalist groups condemn israeli attack on lebanon tv stations_1002555

  5. October 29, 2008    

    There IS worse:

    IFEX – News from the international freedom of expression community
    _________________________________________________________________

    ALERT – CROATIA

    24 October 2008

    Journalist and newspaper marketing director killed in car bombing

    SOURCE: International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna

    (IPI/IFEX) – The following is a press release by the South East Europe
    Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

    SEEMO/IPI Condemns Deadly Car Bomb Attack on Publisher of “Nacional” Weekly
    in Croatia

    Vienna, 24 October 2008

    The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a regional organisation
    of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe
    and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly
    condemns the car bombing that killed Ivo Pukanic, journalist and owner of
    the NCL Media Group in Zagreb, and Niko Franjic, marketing director of the
    weekly newspaper “Nacional,” which is published by NCL.

    According to information before SEEMO, Pukanic and Franjic were killed and
    two other “Nacional” employees injured at 6:20 pm on 23 October 2008, when
    a car bomb exploded in front of the offices of the NCL Media Group in the
    centre of the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

    SEEMO views this bombing as one of the most serious attacks on press
    freedom in the past years, not just in Croatia but in the entire South East
    European region.

    Pukanic had in the past repeatedly informed SEEMO about threats he
    received, starting in 2002. On 9 April, an unidentified assailant carrying
    a gun with a silencer approached Pukanic on the street in front of his
    apartment, threatened to kill the journalist, and then shot at him from a
    distance of several metres. Pukanic fortunately escaped injury at that
    time.

    Pukanic started his career with the weekly “Start” and, beginning in 1991,
    worked for the weekly “Globus.” He was the co-founder, in 1995, of the
    weekly “Nacional.” Pukanic was named journalist of the year in Croatia in
    1999, and received several other awards for investigative reporting, among
    other achievements. Over the years, he built a media company with several
    regular publications, and last year also opened the NCL Journalism School.

    SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic condemned the killings in the
    strongest possible terms, noting that he was “alarmed about this heinous
    crime.” He emphasized that many Croatian journalists were attacked or
    seriously threatened during the past year, and that Croatian authorities
    had not yet found those responsible. He said this made it particularly
    important for “Croatian authorities to initiate a swift and transparent
    investigation into the incident, and to bring those responsible to
    justice.”

    For further information on the previous assassination attempt against
    Pukanic, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92508

  6. October 30, 2008    

    from http://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/index.php?sec=194&cid=3359

    THE OBSERVATORY
    for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

    Greece: Assault on journalist and human rights defender Makis Nodaros

    GRE 002 / 1008 / OBS 173
    Assault
    Greece
    October 28, 2008

    The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your intervention in the following situation in Greece.

    Description of the situation:

    The Observatory has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) about the assault on Mr. Makis Nodaros, a journalist and human rights defender, in his home town of Lechaina in Elia (Western Greece).

    According to the information received, on October 23, 2008, Mr. Makis Nodaros, the Elia regional correspondent for the Athens daily Eleftherotypia, the Patras daily Imera, the Patras television station Teletime, the Patras radio station Radio Gamma, and also the host of a daily programme for the Elia radio station Ionian FM, was attacked by two unidentified men at around 11 a.m. as he was returning home after his daily radio programme.

    The two men approached him, asked him if he was Makis Nodaros, and then punched and kicked him many times, even after he had fallen down and bled. The two assailants tried to break his laptop, stole his mobile phone, and then fled on a motorcycle they had hidden close to the place of the incident. He was offered first aid treatment at the regional medical centre and was diagnosed with head, hand and foot wounds, and later returned home.

    The Observatory is deeply concerned by this assault against Mr. Makis Nodaros as it seems to sanction his human rights activities. Indeed, Mr. Nodaros recently wrote a number of articles exposing corruption and mismanagement over relief provided by the Government, local authorities and non-government institutions for victims of forest fires, which last year destroyed a large part of the region. He had received threats before the attack of October 23. Mr. Nodaros has also recently published several articles about alleged corruption involving the Mayor of the adjacent Elia town of Zacharo. The Mayor reportedly succeeded in having him fired from a local Elia newspaper, and has also announced that he is filing lawsuits against Mr. Nodaros and the newspapers in which he published his articles. The Mayor is also the target of judicial and administrative investigations.

    In 2006, Mr. Makis Nodaros had already been prosecuted for aggravated defamation, subsequent to an article published in 2004 article in the local Pyrgos-based daily Proti, in which he was expressing his concern for the sexual exploitation of a minor.

    Action requested:

    Please write to the authorities in Greece urging them to:
    i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Makis Nodaros;

    ii. Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned assault, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an ordinary competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;

    iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Greece;

    iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

    v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Greece.

    Addresses:

    • Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office at the Hellenic Parliament, Greek Parliament Blgd, Constitution Square, Athens, Greece. Fax: 30 210 3238129, Email: Mail@primeminister.gr
    • Ms. Dora Bakoyannis, Foreign Minister, Athens, Greece, Fax: 30 210 36 81 433, Email: gpap@mfa.gr
    • Mr. Sotiris Hatzigakis, Minister of Justice, Athens, Greece, Fax 30 2107489231
    • Mr. Giorgos Kaminis, Ombudsman for Human Rights, Fax 30 210 7289643
    • H.E. Franciscos Verros, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations in Geneva, Rue du Léman 4, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Email: mission.greece@ties.itu.int, Fax: 41 22 732.21.50
    • Diplomatic Mission of Greece to the European Union, 25 rue Montoyer, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: 32 2 512 79 12 / 32 2 551 56 51.

    Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Greece in your respective country.

    ***
    Geneva – Paris, October 28, 2008

    Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

    The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

    To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
    E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
    Tel and fax FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 33 1 43 55 18 80
    Tel and fax OMCT 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

    FIDH
    International Federation for Human Rights
    17, Passage de la Main d’Or
    75 011 Paris, France OMCT
    World Organisation Against Torture
    Case postale 21 – 8 rue du Vieux-Billard
    1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland

  7. anonymous
    February 6, 2013    

    Helsinki Greece is a disgrace.

    Panayote Dimitras has no intellectual or moral credibility now that he pretends he doesn’t notice the Skopians change from, Slavs into descendents of ancient Macedonians and state sponsered irredentism.

    He self-righteously wraps himself up in the words “human rights” as if everything that exits is mouth is beyond moral reproach. In my opinion,despite his Greek name, he is a Greek hating bigot. He expects the Greek people to commit ethnic suicide to cover up his shame for referencing the manipulative former Yugoslavians as FYROM “macedonians”

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