3 December 2009
IFJ condemns outbreak of violence against media
(IFJ/IFEX) - 2 December 2009 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today strongly condemned an outbreak of violence against media in Greece after a series of bombings targeting the office and home of union leaders. The IFJ/EFJ condemnation follows two attacks on 30 November when a series of explosions targeted the office of Moschos Voitsidis, President of the Journalists' Union of Macedonia-Thrace Daily Newspapers, a member of the EFJ Steering Committee, and the apartment of Panagiotis Nestoridis, Vice President of Journalists' Health Fund EDOEAP.
"These actions are shocking and indicate a violent trend in attacks on media in Greece," said EFJ President Arne König. "We demand that there is a full investigation of these attacks and we call on the authorities to bring those responsible to justice." The two Unions who are members of IFJ/EFJ, the Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers and the Journalists Union of Macedonia and Thrace representing journalists working in the capital and the region of Macedonia and Thrace, have also condemned the attacks, accusing those responsible of using violence to try to control news information. The Unions also express determination to defend the safe practice of journalism and press freedom.
During this year, journalists and media were victims of violence, to the dismay and outrage of the journalists' Unions and society. In Athens, several attacks against buildings of newspapers and TV stations took place, producing considerable material damages. Last week, journalist Paschos Mandravelis, a well-known newspaper and TV commentator, was also the target of violence at the Athens University.
The EFJ supports Greek journalists who need determination and courage to practice their profession, regardless of violence and intimidation. The EFJ calls on authorities to take all necessary steps to protect journalists and media professionals from similar attacks and to act against impunity.
The EFJ is also considering sending a mission to Greece to collect further information on these cases and to put pressure on authorities for justice against predators of press freedom.