Amnesty International is engaged for the case of Manolis Kypraios, the Greek photo-reporter who lost his hearing when a policeman threw a stun grenade at him during the Athens riots on 15th June 2011. In a letter to Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, AI calls for a thorough criminal investigation, disciplinary measures against the responsible police officer and an adequate compensation to Kypraios, whose jorunalistic career is over due to physical and psychological trauma. Kypraios underwent a surgery and he might regain a minimum of hearing capability in one ear. The other is permanently and totally damaged.
Please, read what Amnesty International has to say on the issue and take action by signing the letter to support Kypraios in finding justice!
From Amnesty International: Demand Justice for Manolis Kypraios
In June 2011 Manolis Kypreos -a journalist- was covering protests in his professional capacity in Syntagma Square, Athens, against the new austerity measures, introduced by the Greek government.
During the protests, he witnessed police spraying chemicals at peaceful protesters, throwing stun grenades at them for no reason and violently beating them with police batons. As he reported, when he told the head of a riot police unit -who asked him why he was taking pictures- that he was a journalist, in response, the head of unit used abusive language against him and pointed him out to a riot police officer of his unit. Within seconds, the riot police officer threw a stun grenade at him, which exploded approximately 50cm away from him. As a result of the explosion, Manolis Kypreos fell to the ground and when he managed to get up with the help of some demonstrators, he realised that he that he could not hear.
Soon afterwards and while he was walking to the hospital, he saw a group of police officers surrounding peaceful protesters and attacking them with police batons. Manolis intervened in order to try and protect a young adolescent, enveloping him in his arms and covering him with his body. As a result, Manolis received several beatings. After several minutes the policemen left and Manolis tried again to get to the hospital. When he managed to get there the doctors informed him that both his ears had sustained serious damage and that he now suffered a complete loss of hearing.
On 9 August, Manolis Kypreos underwent surgery to install implants that provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf. If successful, he might regain a small part of his hearing in one of his ear (the second ear is permanently and totally damaged). Due to his physical disability and psychological trauma, his career as a journalist is practically over.
Write a letter to the Greek authorities!
Write a letter expressing your desire for justice, asking specifically:
- the criminal investigation into Manolis case to be full and impartial and bring to justice those found responsible;
- to bring disciplinary measures against the police officers found responsible;
- to provide Manolis with a level of compensation which takes full account of the consequences of his loss of hearing;
- to ensure that in future the police do not use stun grenades, tear gas and other chemicals against peaceful protesters in a way that violates international standards, and that policing of demonstrations complies with international law enforcement standards.
* Please see the picture bellow for instructions on how to take action
Mr. Miltiadis Papaioannou
Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
96 Mesogheion Avenue
Mr. Christos Papoutsis
Minister of Citizens’ Protection
Ministry of Citizens’ Protection
4 P. Kanellopoulou Street
I am writing to you to address the issue of the injury and ill-treatment of Manolis Kypreos by the police.
I call on you to ensure that the criminal investigation into his case will be prompt, independent, thorough and effective and that the police officers responsible for his injury and ill-treatment will be brought to justice, in a fair trial in conformity with international human rights standards. Furthermore, I urge you to guarantee that disciplinary measures will be brought against the police officers found responsible.
Also, I urge you to make sure that Manolis Kypreos will be provided with a level of compensation which takes full account of the consequences of his loss of hearing, that he will be facing a lifetime of disability, and as a result it is unlikely he will be able to work again in his profession as a journalist.
Finally, I call on you to ensure that in the future the police will not use stun grenades, tear gas and other chemicals against peaceful protesters in a way that violates international standards, and that policing of demonstrations will comply with international law enforcement standards.
Name and email…
Just take the time to fill it in. It is really about our freedom. Journalists like Kypreos know they risk a lot for that one shot that tells you the story. But to be attacked like this is something no photographer is supposed to suspect in a EU-country like Greece. Those responsible for these actions have to be brought to justice and any financial help Kypreos can get will be at least some help for the rest of his live…
I fully agree, 200%