Berlin, July 9, 2019 — Greek authorities must quickly and thoroughly investigate the ransacking of the offices of Greek weekly newspaper Athens Voice and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On July 4, a group of about 10 masked individuals entered the Athens Voice offices and vandalized the newsroom, damaging office equipment and furniture and splashing black paint on the walls, according to a report by the newspaper. No one was injured during the raid, according to that report.
In a post published on video-sharing website LiveLeak, Greek anarchist group Rouvikonas claimed credit for the attack, which it described as a protest against an article on the newspaper’s website concerning a story about an Armenian woman who died after jumping out of a window to evade authorities’ inspection of her residence and work permit.
“Political groups should not be in the business of attacking the free press, and Greek authorities should be sure to hold to account those responsible for ransacking the offices of Athens Voice,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said from New York. “If groups do not face consequences for such egregious actions, these attacks against the press will continue.”
In an email to CPJ, an Athens Voice representative estimated that the attack caused more than 50,000 euros ($56,216) in damages. Police have opened an investigation into the attack and have placed the newspaper’s offices under police protection, according to the representative.
The Hellenic Police press department did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment.
In May, Greek CNN reporter Mina Karamitrou’s car was destroyed by a bomb after she reported on a different anarchist group, as CPJ reported at the time.
[Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include Athens Voice’s responses to CPJ’s request for comment and, in the third paragraph, to correct that the attack was in response to an article published on the newspaper’s website.]