The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is alarmed at reports of bombs being placed outside the homes of a number of journalists in Athens, Greece, on 11 January 2013.
Small homemade bombs, made with the use of gas canisters, exploded in the early morning hours on 11 January 2013 in front of the homes of five Greek journalists in the Athens districts of Lycavittos, Aghia Paraskevi, Alimos, Maroussi and Penteli. According to the Greek authorities, among the journalists targeted were Antonis Liaros, George Oikonomeas, Antonis Skyllakos, Petros Karsiotis and Chris Konstas. In each case, the explosion damaged the entrance of the building. No one was injured. In the case of Oikonomeas the attack was in front of his former residence.
The anarchist group “Lovers of Lawlessness” said the attacks were to protest coverage of the country’s financial crisis seen as sympathetic to the government,
“This is an attempt to openly terrorise the media, a vital part of our democracy,” said Simos Kedikoglou, the Greek government’s spokesman. He noted the attacks came a day after protesters barged into a radio station. Two days after this statement, on 13 January, the home of the spokesman’s brother was targeted when a group of unknown perpetrators broke a window of the residence of George Kedikoglou in Athens and threw in a molotov cocktail, starting a small fire.
“This is a new, worrying escalation of violence against media and journalists in Greece. SEEMO is alarmed at the number of violent cases and different forms of pressure directed at journalists in Greece over the past 12 months”, said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.
According to SEEMO there were 38 cases of press freedom violations or attacks on journalists in Greece in 2012. SEEMO calls on the authorities in Athens to urgently investigate the attacks, and to find the perpetrators and any masterminds.