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Authorities ban OTPOR solidarity concert in Salonica

(GHM/IFEX) - The Prefect of Salonica Costas Papadopoulos was reported today to have refused a license for the use of the state-owned Lazarists' Monastery in Salonica for a public concert to be held there on 16 September 2000. The concert was organised by the NGOs Citizens' Movement and European Expression in solidarity with the Yugoslav student opposition movement OTPOR (resistance). The Prefect stated that the concert would be "an intrusion in the internal affairs of another country."

The concert ran into major problems from the beginning and the initial plans to hold it in the city's centrally located port area were cancelled as pro-communist (KKE) groups threatened to organise disruptive counter-demonstrations. It was then moved to another location, but the persistent reactions led to the ban.

As editor-in-chief Sifis Polimilis wrote in "Eleftherotypia" today, "we have seen in this country -and rightly so- hundreds of concerts held in solidarity with movements and organisations which were fighting for the restoration of democracy in their fatherland. . . . Now some are imposing an arbitrary ban on a public event. Worse, this terrorising effort is tolerated by authorities who are supposed to protect the freedom of expression of all citizens. . . . They try to identify all Greeks with the shabbiness of the Milosevic regime. Worst of all, no one is moved, no one is bothered by such actions, lest we embarrass the KKE."

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
- denouncing the ban of the concert as a violation of freedom of expression and asking that it be rescinded immediately so that the concert be held as scheduled
- denouncing this action, among many others, as indicating that Greek authorities seem to oppose, rather than support, the struggle of democratic forces in Yugoslavia
- asking that disciplinary and legal actions are initiated against the prefect who, in so doing, violated Greek law and international human rights norms

Appeals To


George Papandreou
Foreign Minister
Athens, Greece
Fax: +30 1 36 81 433
E-mail: [email protected]

Dimitris Reppas
Minister of Press and Information
Athens, Greece
Fax: +30 1 36 06 969

Professor Mihalis Stathopoulos
Minister of Justice
Athens, Greece
Fax : +30 1 77 55 835

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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