The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns the assault on Makis Nodaros, a local journalist for several media in the region of Ilia (also known as Ileía or Elia ) on the Peloponnesian Peninsula of Greece.
According to information before SEEMO, Nodaros was beaten by two unidentified men at 11 am on 23 October 2008 in his home town of Lechaina (also known as Lechena or Lehena). The men first asked the journalist if he was Makis Nodaros before beating him and attempting to destroy his laptop. The attackers also stole his mobile phone. Nodaros was taken to hospital, treated for injuries to the head, arms and legs, and then released.
In the past, Nodaros, who works for the Athens-based daily Eleftherotypia and the local daily Imera, as well as for the radio stations Radio Gamma and Ionian FM and the television station Teletime, has been the target of several defamation actions. On February 2006, he appeared before a court to face defamation charges stemming from his 11 September 2004 article about the sexual exploitation of a minor. This was only one in a series of trials against Nodaros since 1999 related to his investigative reports on corruption among local authorities.
Nodaros recently published several articles about corruption involving a local politician and the mismanagement of relief efforts for victims of the Greek forest fires in 2007, which destroyed parts of the Peloponnesian peninsula.
Speaking about the assault on Nodaros, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said, “SEEMO views this attack as an appalling example of how journalists are being targeted for speaking out about problems in local society. SEEMO joins Nodaro’s colleagues in Greece in calling for a full investigation into this incident to find out not only who attacked the journalist, but also the identities of those who ordered the attack.”