close
close

Greek journalist beaten while reporting on fire in Athens on television

Greek journalist beaten while reporting on fire in Athens on television

Greek reporter Frixos Drakontidis is attacked after being knocked to the ground while covering a fire in an Athens suburb on June 19.

Greek reporter Frixos Drakontidis is attacked after being knocked to the ground while covering a fire in an Athens suburb on June 19. (Screenshot: Mega TV)

On June 19, 2024, Frixos Drakontidis was reporting live from the scene of a fire in Varis-Koropiou, a southern suburb of the capital Athens, when an unknown man approached him and ordered him to leave the fire-affected company premises.

When Drakontidis refused, saying he was a journalist with the news portal Protothema, the man and two other people hit him several times on the head, pushed him to the ground and continued to beat him, according to media reports, including a video filmed by a local television crew.

Drakontidis told CPJ that he had filed a police report and identified the attackers as company employees, but as of July 10, he had not received any updates on the status of the investigation.

Drakontidis said he lost consciousness for a few seconds when he fell, injuring his back and hands, and sought treatment at a nearby hospital.

The Athens Daily Newspapers Journalists’ Union condemned the incident as an attack on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Hardly any other country in the European Union has seen as many physical attacks on journalists in recent years as Greece. CPJ and its partners announced this in a letter to the European Commission in February, calling for the Greek authorities to be held accountable.

An email from CPJ seeking comment from the Greek police, the national police service responsible for such investigations, went unanswered.