This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 5 July 2019.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the ransacking of the headquarters of the Athens Voice weekly newspaper by anarchists in Athens yesterday and urges the Greek authorities to do everything possible to ensure that acts of violence of this kind do not go unpunished.
A video posted on the newspaper’s YouTube channel shows the extent of the damage caused by the approximately 15 masked individuals who stormed into its offices armed with steel bars at around 3 pm, methodically smashed office equipment, computers and furniture and threw black paint over the walls. None of the journalists was injured.
The anarchist group Rouvikonas (which is the Greek word for “Rubicon”) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Indymedia website and said it was a reprisal for a controversial post on the newspaper’s website about the death of an Armenian woman. Rouvikonas has carried out similar actions in the past. In 2016, members of the group attacked the daily newspaper Proto Thema and invaded the premises of the Greek Public Broadcaster ERT, interrupting its broadcasting for several minutes.
“Nothing can justify the use of violence against a media outlet, said RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk. The Greek authorities must do everything possible to prosecute those responsible and prevent this kind of attack against the media, which are a cornerstone of every democracy.”
Greek journalists have been exposed to violence by radical groups for some years. A group called OLA detonated a powerful explosive device outside the headquarters of the commercial radio and TV station Skai in December 2018 to denounce its “capitalist agenda.”
Greece is ranked 65th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
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Source: MEDIA FEED