GREECE: SEEMO urges Greek authorities to end media freedom restrictions

GREECE, GREECE, 10/12/2015, 09:05

Vienna, 10 December 2015 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned recent behaviour of Greek institutions and police forces towards media workers.

On 9 December, riot police forces started removing migrants stranded on the border between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia / Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Traffic was blocked while migrants protested and occupied the border for not being allowed to cross into the Republic of Macedonia / Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in an effort to travel to northern European countries.

Journalists who were live-tweeting and trying to report on the incident from the Idomeni camp near the border were removed from the area. Four journalists and photographers were arrested.  They were then taken to a police station several kilometres away from the border, prohibited from using their cameras and instructed to delete the material they had recorded.

All the media workers were released soon after, but were not allowed to go back to the border and report.

"We urge the Greek authorities to allow free reporting on matters like the incident at the border, which are vital to the public interest”, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said today.

SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe. SEEMO’s press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.

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