Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns today’s “unacceptable” attack by masked men on a municipal radio reporter in Athens and calls on the city’s authorities to shed all possible light on the incident.
When RSF was drafting this release, little information was available about the circumstances of the attack on the reporter, Dimitri Pierro of municipal radio 9.84, who was covering a demonstration called by trade unions in protest against the pension reform law. “Whatever this circumstances, we firmly condemn an act of such violence against a journalist who was just doing his job at the time,” said Alexandra Geneste, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk in Brussels. Pierro was stopped by around 20 masked men armed with wooden sticks, who asked him to identify himself and started to hit him when he said he was a journalist. Local media reports described his assailants as “anarchists.” Pierro was taken to a local hospital where he was said to be under observation. He reportedly told other journalists that a riot police unit watched him being beaten without ever intervening. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Athens authorities said the attack was being investigated. Staged as part of a nationwide 24-hour general strike, the demonstration ended with clashes between police and dozens of masked protesters, who were driven back with teargas and stun grenades. Greece is ranked 91st out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.