On the State of Press Freedom in Greece

On Thursday, 5th April 2012, Marios Lolos, a photojournalist, was hit on the head by a police truncheon while covering a peaceful protest in response to the recent suicide of a 77 year-old man in protest to austerity measures. Marios Lolos sustained a brain injury and had to have surgery yesterday. We extend our best wishes to him and everyone else who has been injured and wish them the best for their recovery. Read more about the incident on Keep Talking Greece.

Update (9.4.12): A call for eyewitnesses and photo or video evidence of the attack has been published. You can also get in touch with us and we will pass on your info.

Reporters Without Borders had already issued an alarm last autumn, criticising the violence faced by journalists in Greece. In a recent article they also address thinly veiled threats of sexual violence made by police officers against Anthee Carassava, when she attempted to identify officers who had attacked her earlier, in order to be able to report the incident during the Independence Day Parades on 25th March 2012.
On the same day, we witnessed journalist Nectarios Dargakis being arrested twice. The first time, town councilor Petros Kostantinou was also arrested, and both were released after he called a government minister from inside the police van. The second time, Nectarios Dargakis did get arrested. In both incidents officers tried to stop us from filming.

Marios Lolos is the president of the union of photojournalists in Greece, EFE issued a statement following the attacks on him and other journalists (see English version). The London Photographers branch of the NUJ has published a letter of support.