Assassination of Greek journalist sparks condemnation from UNESCO

23 July 2010

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with upholding press freedom today condemned the murder of an investigative reporter in Greece who was gunned down outside his home earlier this week.

Socrates Giolias, director of the Thema 98.9 FM radio station and a contribution to the popular social and political blog Troktiko, is the first journalist to have been assassinated in Greece since 1985.

Mr. Giolias, 37, was reportedly shot at least 20 times on Monday morning after he was lured out of his apartment in the Ilioupolis neighbourhood of Athens by three men disguised as security personnel.

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), issued a statement from the agency’s headquarters in Paris in which she deplored the murder.

“Violence against journalists constitutes an attack on the fundamental human right of freedom of expression,” she said. “It is a direct threat to democracy. I count on the Greek authorities to do their utmost to bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime. They cannot be allowed to act with impunity.”

Today’s press statement noted that colleagues said Mr. Giolias was about to publish a report on corruption.


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