Rights groups and press freedom organisations call on the European Commission to take immediate action to address the deterioration of media freedom and the rule of law in Greece and its impact on fundamental rights.
New report examines media capture in Greece through the four indicators of media capture: capture of private media, capture of public media, capture of the system of funding media and capture of media regulators.
Ahead of the first court hearing, press freedom groups call on Grigoris Dimitriadis, the PM’s nephew, to withdraw his groundless defamation suit against journalists and media.
A recent report shows that France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, and Finland want to legalise spying on journalists in the event of a threat to national security.
Joint press freedom mission to Greece concludes with a call on the government to show political courage and take specific measures to improve the climate for independent journalism.
Giorgos Papachristos was assaulted by a businessman about whom he had written critically. Kostas Vaxevanis was threatened – and his mother-in-law assaulted – by a man who complained about the journalist’s work.
“Trying to intimidate activists who are exposing human rights violations committed by Greek officials has no place in an EU member state. The European Commission should step in and press Greece to immediately stop harassing civil society groups and activists.”
With Greece facing intense international criticism over pushbacks and wider human rights concerns related to migration and asylum, the Greek government has moved to silence groups working to spotlight those abuses.
“The threat these days doesn’t come just from repressive governments like those in Russia or Turkey. Nor it is even confined to democratic states on the road to authoritarianism like Hungary and Poland. It now also comes from elected governments in states whose democracies appear in better health, such as France, Greece, Italy, and the UK.”
During a meeting with RSF, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson, Ioannis Oikonomou, promised that the government “will soon propose a law to make the use of spyware illegal”. RSF demanded that those responsible for the arbitrary wiretapping of journalists must also be brought to justice.
The prime minister’s close adviser (and nephew) has launched a lawsuit against two media outlets over articles concerning alleged illegal surveillance of the press by the government. Journalist Thanasis Koukakis, a target of this surveillance, is also being sued for tweeting about the articles’ revelations.
In the last three years, ‘Star TV’ journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead, ‘Documento’ editor Kostas Vaxevanis reportedly had a contract put on his head, and ‘Makelio’ editor Stefanos Chios was shot at and wounded.
With Greece facing intense international criticism over unlawful pushbacks of migrants at its borders and wider human rights concerns related to migration and asylum, the Greek government has moved to silence groups and individuals documenting these abuses.
On 9 April 2021, Karaivaz was gunned down outside his home in broad daylight. Police said the killing suggested the involvement of organized crime groups, which have carried out a number of targeted killings in recent years, and which Karaivaz was known to have investigated.