Postcards from Greece: The President of the Union of Greek Photojournalists seriously injured by special police forces in Syntagma Square

It was not the first time that Marios Lolos was in jured by the police forces while doing his job (on the left)



Athens, 4/5/2012

The Union of Greek Photojournalists denounces the new brutal and unprovoked attack by the special police forces of MAT against colleagues who were covering yesterday’s rally in Syntagma square, as well as today’s demonstration.  This time victim was the President of our Union, Marios Lolos, who is already hospitalized “for traumatic brain injury caused by strike with a police baton (skull fracture impressed) requiring surgical intervention”! We want to remind that this is not the first time that the President of EFE is becoming a target, moreover in the same way. In the 15th of December 2010 he was hit from behind on the head by a man of the MAT police forces, while doing his job, and the very next day our union in its announcement drew attention to the Ministers in charge “to follow through their responsibilities, because we are afraid that in the end we shall mourn victims”!

We emphasize the fact that for one more time information of the public becomes a target, despite assurances by the (former) Minister of Protection (?) of the Citizen to EFE’s representatives, in our meeting last July regarding similar incidents, that “the political and physical leadership of EL.AS. (Greek Police) is devoted to the protection of the democratic rights and treats the information vocation with the needed sensitivity and shall make every effort so that it can be exercised freely and unobstructed” (!!) nullifying these assurances.

The systematic and repeated attacks against the press workers, while on duty, that violate even fundamental human rights, can be considered far than random. Even in the most good faith, one could conclude that these attacks are consciously exercised by several circles in order to impose silencing of the free press with the also conscious attempt to terrorize the free press workers.

Moreover we see that there is no development in similar brutal attacks that took place previously, like the one against our colleague journalist Manolis Kypraiou, who suffered permanent disability and we also note that tens of named complaints from our colleagues and our Unions regarding the provocative and brutal behavior of the police forces remain unaddressed (like the one against our colleague Tatiana Bolari) following the usual procedure of archiving any sworn administrative inquiry.

After these incidents our Union will join the rest of the Unions and the Federations in our sector in Greece and abroad, in the effort to preserve the freedom of information and will stand in every way against actions that undermine the foundations of democracy and attempt to return us back into situations and regimes for which our people has heavily paid and will never be repeated in our country.

For the EC

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT                                          THE GEN. SECRETARY



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