Several photo-reporters and journalists were attacked, beaten and had their equipment destroyed or stolen by extremists groups, participants of the Macedonia rally, on Sunday. One of the victims was journalist Thomas Iacobi, co-author of a documentary about the Golden Dawn, who attacked and beaten by a group of people while he was covering the protest against the name change deal with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Iacobi, a correspondent of various international media, was attacked by a group of people from an organized extremist group that recognized him as one of the co-authors of Golden Dawn: a Personal Case, a documentary about the Golden Dawn far-right political party.
The group identified Jakobi and called out to him: “You! You made that documentary on Golden Dawn!”
The group punched him in the face and forced him to delete files from his mobile and destroyed his audio equipment, before the police could intervene.
Another victim of the extremists “patriots” was Kostis Dadamis.
Dadamis said that it was first a group of two or three people around him until a mob gathered. The attackers first told him to hand over his camera and when he refused they started to hit him with clubs and chased him until other colleagues came to his help.
The attackers stole all of his equipment.
Dadamis was hospitalized and treated for head injuries.
According to Greek Photo-Reporters Association a total of five photographers and cameramen were attacked and beaten and had their equipment smashed or stolen.
According to the GPA, it was one organized group of attackers, all dressed in black. They were holding Greek flags.
“They were carrying pictures of photo-reporters with them,” the GPA said in a statement condemning the attacks and expressing the suspicion that the attacks were well organized and the victims were targeted before the rally.
For the attacks they used clubs and a screwdriver.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, condemned the attacks and urged Greek authorities to investigate them.
“I strongly condemn these terrible attacks, and urge the Greek authorities to swiftly investigate them,” said Désir, “Journalists must be able to work freely and to cover protests and events of public interest without fear.”
“I call on the Greek authorities to do their utmost to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice as to dissuade future violence, and to ensure that journalists can work safely,” stated Désir, adding that he will continue to monitor the situation.