After a tumultuous European Union (EU) bailout that lasted several years, Greece has not been making headlines recently. However, although known to be a democracy, press freedom in Greece is under pressure. Matthaios Tsimitakis had this article in Open Democracy. Here is an excerpt:
On Saturday 20 March, Kostas Vaxevanis, publisher of the Athens-based newspaper Documento, tweeted that an arrest warrant had been issued against him. His newspaper had published the full text of a lawsuit lodged against him personally by 22 police officers, with their names on its front page. The policemen were under investigation for the torture of a young activist.
Vaxevanis was not arrested, but the event was an alert to the journalist community of Athens. Documento and Efimerida Syntakton (a cooperatively run newspaper not controlled by the mainstream media conglomerates that are almost unanimously in favour of Greece’s conservative government) have been reporting the stories of victims of police harassment and abuse.
Earlier, on 9 March, clashes had erupted between the police and some of the 5,000 protesters who had gathered in the middle-class Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni to demonstrate against police brutality during the coronavirus quarantine. The protest was prompted by a recent event in the neighbourhood, when a rapid response squad out on COVID-curfew patrol harassed a family and then attacked a young man who stepped in to argue in their defence.
Access the full article through this link.