Masked individuals vandalised office of Greek media outlet
A positive development
In July 2019, amendments to the Criminal Code came into effect. The provisions regarding ‘blasphemy’ were abolished. The Humanist Union of Greece welcomed “these very important developments and especially that they were not met with any significant opposition.”
Greece’s blasphemy law was among the most restrictive in Europe. In a high-profile blasphemy case in 2012, a blogger, Filippos Loizos, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for playing with the name of a revered Greek Orthodox monk so that it resembled a traditional pasta-based dish. His conviction, years later, was overthrown on appeal.
Violence against a media outlet
On 4th July 2019, approximately 15 masked individuals ransacked the headquarters of the weekly newspaper Athens Voice. Using steel bars, they smashed office equipment, computers and furniture and threw paint over the walls. Journalists were not attacked.
The group Rouvikonas claimed responsibility for the attack. They described it as a protest against an article the newspaper published about an Armenian woman who died after jumping out of a window to evade authorities' inspection of her documents.
“Nothing can justify the use of violence against a media outlet,” said Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF).
The Committee to Protect Journalists also called on the Greek authorities:
“To quickly and thoroughly investigate the ransacking of the offices of Greek weekly newspaper Athens Voice and hold those responsible to account.”
Congratulations to Greece for removing references to blasphemy from its criminal code! Another blasphemy law struck from the record. https://t.co/RAE7Zrxat0— Sarah McLaughlin (@sarahemclaugh) June 14, 2019