Damian Mac Con Uladh

Posts Tagged ‘athens’

Remembering the Greek refugees in Aleppo by helping the Syrian refugees in Athens

In Greece on 25 November 2014 at 10:28 am
Greek refugees at Aleppo (Photo: Library of Congress)

Greek refugees at Aleppo (Photo: Library of Congress)

My article in yesterday’s Irish Times on the protest of Syrian refugees on Syntagma Square in Athens generated a mixed response on Facebook, where, among other places, I posted it on the page of the sadly defunct Athens News.

The Syrians, among them dozens of children, including a baby, have completed their sixth night sleeping outdoors. Yesterday, a number of them commenced a hunger strike. They want Greece to allow them continue their journey to other EU countries where many have family or know they will receive protection.

From the comfort of their keyboards, a number of commenters on the Athens News page expressed their view on why Syrians deserve no help from Greece, with common arguments being that Syrians are somehow incompatible with Greece or Europe for religious reasons (an opinion shared by a number of expatriate Greeks) or that Syrians should seek refugee with neighbouring “Arab/Muslim” countries. It seems they are unaware of the facts: the statistics show that the vast majority of Syrian refugees have sought refuge in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

One commenter, possibly from Syria, reminded them, however, that there was time when Greeks sought refugee in Syria by posting a photograph from the Library of Congress photo archive. The undated photo, entitled “Greek refugees at Aleppo”, shows a group of raggedly dressed people, young boys to the fore, lined up, waiting to be fed. In the foreground, a woman, with a can of some sorts at her feet, stands next to a cart on which something is being cooked. Underneath the scanned photo, what’s left of a caption states “12,000 Greeks were fed by the Americans”.

A close-up of the photo (Library of Congress)

Whose ancestors are they? A close-up of the photo (Library of Congress)

According to one account of the forced exchange of population between Greece and Turkey (full book here), as agreed under the 1923 Lausanne treaty, there were 17,000 Greek refugees from Asia Minor in various Syrian cities. So grave was the situation, that in August 1923, the head of the Greek refugees in Aleppo cabled the foreign ministry in Athens, requesting that it prohibit any more Greeks from reaching the city, where “it has become impossible to admit further refugees”.

The situation in general for Greek refugees in the summer of 1923 was described as “tragic and precarious”, which is also the case for the Syrians on Syntagma, as these photos show:

No doubt, just as the Syrian refugees protesting in Syntagma don’t want to be in Greece, the Greek refugees in 1923 did not want to be in Syria. They wanted to reach Greece, a country most of them had never seen but hoped would at least put them out of danger.

Reaching Greece did offer them protection, even though many of the refugees would admit that they were subjected to discrimination by the indigenous population for years after their arrival. People like Katina, one former refugee from Asia Minor, who days before her death at the age of 92 in 2010 recalled how her destitute family was treated when they reached Greece: “They [the neighbours] wouldn’t give us any coal. Yes, there was a lot of racism.”

In 2014, it’s obscene that refugees fleeing a brutal war should be sleeping on the streets of a European capital city. This is Europe’s shame and the Syrians deserve better.

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Video details police violence in Exarchia

In Greece on 19 November 2014 at 10:37 am
(Screengrab: YouTube)

(Screengrab: YouTube)

Damning video footage has emerged showing the heavy-handed tactics of police in the central Athens district of Exarchia on Monday night after the protest marches commemorating the 1973 Polytechnic uprising.

According to the video, recorded by photographer Chloe Kritharas, a young man claiming to work at a kiosk on Exarchia Square was beaten when he asked a riot policeman, who he said had taken a bottle of water, to pay for it. A policeman can be seen pulling the man by his collar while others strike him on the back with truncheons, verbally abusing him and others.

The recording also shows officers from the Delta rapid-response motorcycle unit waving batons in the air as they drove in columns through the streets.

The police on Tuesday said it had ordered the launch of an internal inquiry and preliminary investigation into the incident at the kiosk by its internal affairs department.

In another message on Facebook, Kritharas claims on the same evening she was chased by a riot policeman who shouted “Give me your fucking ID, bitch” before kicking her.

Athens police detain women who attended rehearsals for antiracism play

In Uncategorized on 3 September 2014 at 11:18 am
Photo: Steve Criddle/Flickr

Photo: Steve Criddle/Flickr

Three members of the cast of a play that deals with racism were stopped and detained by police on Monday after finishing rehearsals, despite being in possession of valid residence permits.

The three, all women, were stopped by police and asked for their papers in Keramikos, central Athens, at around 9pm, outside of the Eutopian Workshop, where the rehearsals for the play, “No to racism from the cradle”, take place.

Police at the scene, who were not wearing service numbers and refused to reveal their names, told the women and bystanders that they were detaining them because they appeared “suspicious”.

The women were then transferred, in a patrol car bearing the registration EA 20281, to the Attica aliens bureau on Petrou Ralli street, where they were detained for two hours.

Read the rest of this entry »

Man accused of attempted murder was member of Golden Dawn’s central committee

In General on 3 September 2014 at 9:44 am

GoldenDawnTshirt

A man accused of attempted murder following an attack on an alternative hangout in Athens in June 2008 was a member of Golden Dawn’s central committee at the time of the incident, it has emerged.

Since the attack on the Antipnoia anarchist space in Kato Petralona, in which a Greek and a Spanish national were stabbed, the accused, Vasilis Siatounis and Athanasios Stratos, claimed they were not members of the party.

But according to a list of Golden Dawn central committee members from 2008 that was published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, Siatounis was a member of the party’s highest council when the attack occurred.

He was also a candidate for the party in the 2010 Athens municipal elections and was subsequently appointed an advisor to Nikos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn’s leader, who became a councillor in that election.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 24 victims of the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising

In General on 17 November 2012 at 4:08 pm

One was a 22-year-old Norwegian tourist to Greece who would never return home after she was shot in the chest. Another was a 5½-year-old boy, shot in the head while crossing the road with his mother.

They are just two of the victims – their names generally forgotten – of the events surrounding the Athens Polytechnic Uprising of 17 November 1973, when the ruling junta sent in the tanks to crush a student revolt against their dictatorial rule.

Research published in 2003 by the National Hellenic Research Foundation (EIA) named 24 people as having been killed in and around the Polytechnic campus on November 16-18.

The historian who carried out the research, Dr Leonidas Kallivretakis, carefully crosschecked a number of existing lists and records, before arriving at his own list.

Given that Dr Kallivretatkis’ list is not, to my knowledge, available in English, I’ve translated it below have also produced a Google Map (further down) showing the location of each fatality.

As in previous years, there are those who will deny that anyone died during the Polytechnic uprising. Neonazi Golden Dawn have been quite vocal about this this year, but there are doubters and deniers within the ranks of other parties too, particularly New Democracy. Hopefully, this blog post will contribute in some way to combating these denials.

The names of the victims of state violence on and around 17 November 1973:

1. Spyros Kontomaris, son of Anastasis, aged 57, lawyer (former Centre Union MP for Corfu), resident of Agiou Meletiou St, Athens. At around 8.30–9pm on 16 November 1973, he was standing at the junction of Georgiou Stavrou and Stadiou streets, when police fired tear gas at protesters, resulting in him suffering a heart attack. Pronounced dead at arrival at a Red Cross first aid station.

2. Diomedes Komnenos, son of Ioannis, aged 17, school pupil, resident of Lefkados 7, Athens. Between 9.30–9.45pm on 16 November 1973, while he was with other protesters at the intersection of Averof and Marni streets, he was fatally wounded in the heart from shots fired by public order ministry guards. Transferred to a Red Cross first aid station and from there, dead, to what is now the General State hospital.

3. Sokratis Michail, aged 57, insurance agent, resident of Peristeri, Athens. Between 9–10.30pm on 16 November 1973, while he was somewhere between Bouboulinas and Solonos streets, police fired tear gas at protesters, during which he suffered a blood clot in the left coronary artery. He was transferred to the Red Cross first aid station on Triti Septemvriou St, where he died.

4. Toril Margrethe Engeland, daughter of Per Reidar, aged 22, student, from Molde, Norway. At about 11.30pm on 16 November 1973, she was fatally wounded in the chest by a shot fired by public order ministry guards. [Another source says she was at the junction of Averof and Triti Septemvriou streets.] Taken by protesters to the Acropol hotel and later, after she had died, to a Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) first aid station. Originally, she was incorrectly listed by police as the “Egyptian Toril Teklet” and this mistake can still be found in some lists of the dead.


5. Vasilis Famellos, son of Panayiotis, aged 26, private-sector employee, from Pyrgos, Ileias prefecture, resident of Kasou 1, Kypseli, Athens. At about 11.30pm on 16 November 1973, he was fatally wounded in the head by shots fired by public order ministry guards. [Another source says he was at the junction of Averof and Triti Septemvriou streets.] Taken by protesters to a Red Cross first aid station and from there, dead, to what is now the General State hospital.


6. Yiorgos Samouris, son of Andreas, aged 22, student at the Panteion Univiersity, originally from Patras, resident of Plateia Kountouriotou 7, Koukaki. Shortly before midnight on 16 November 1973, while in the general area of the Polytechnic (Kallidromiou and Zosimadon streets), he was fatally wounded in the neck by police fire. Moved to the makeshift medical clinic in the Polytechnic, he later died. From there, his body was taken to an IKA first aid station. His surname was incorrectly listed by police as “Chamourlis”.


7. Dimitris Kyriakopoulos, son of Antonis, aged 35, builder, from Kalavryta, a resident of Peristeri, Attica. On the evening of 16 November 1973, while he was in the Polytechnic, he was hit with tear gas and then was beaten by police with truncheons, the result of which he died from an acute aortic rupture, three days later, on 19 November 1973, at a Red Cross first aid station.


8. Spyros Marinos, son of Dionysis, nicknamed Georgaras, aged 31, private-sector employee, from Exochora on Zakynthos. On the evening of 16 November 1973, he was in the area of Polytechnic, where he was beaten by police with truncheons and suffered traumatic brain injuries. Moved to Pentelis Hospital, where he died on 19 November 1973 after an acute stroke. He was buried in his hometown, where a service was held in his memory on 9 September 1974.

9. Nikos Markoulis, son of Petros, aged 24, worker, from Partheni in Thessaloniki, resident of Christomanou 67, Sepolia, Athens. In the early hours of 17 November 1973, while walking on Vathis Square, he was wounded in the abdomen by a burst of fire shot by a military patrol. Taken to what is now the General State hospital, he died there on 19 November 1973.

10. Katerina Argyropoulou, wife of Angelis, aged 76, a resident of Kennedy and Kalymnos streets, Agioi Anargyroi, Athens. At 10am on 17 November 1973, while in the yard of her house, she was wounded in the back by a bullet. Taken to the Pammakaristos clinic in Kato Patisia, where she remained for one month. Returning home, she died six months later, in May 1974, as a result of trauma.

11. Stelios Karayiorgis, son of Agamemnonos, aged 19, builder, resident of Miaouli 38, Neo Irakleio, Athens. At 10.15am on 17 November 1973, while he was with other protesters on Patision St, between the Aelao and Ealinis cinemas, he was wounded by a burst of machine-gun fire shot from an armoured vehicle. Taken to KAT hospital, he died 12 days later, on 30 November 1973.

12. Markos Karamanis, son of Dimitris, aged 23, an electrician from Piraeus, resident of Chiou 35, Egaleo. At about 10.30am on 17 November 1973, while he was standing on the flat roof of the building at Egyptou 1, he was fatally wounded in the head by a shot fired by military guards from the rooftop of the OTE building opposite. (The perpetrator was Lieutenant Ioannis Lymperis, 573rd infantry battalion). Taken to the Pantanassa clinic on Plateia Victoria, where he was pronounced dead.

13. Alexandros Spartidis, son of Stratis, aged 16, school pupil, from Piraeus, resident of Agias Lavras 80, Ano Patision, Athens. Around 10.30–11am on 17 November 1973, while walking at the intersection of Patision and Kotsika streets, he was fatally injured by a shot to the stomach from the military guards on the rooftop of the OTE building opposite. (The perpetrator was Lieutenant Ioannis Lymperis, 573rd infantry battalion.) Suffering a perforating injury, he was taken to KAT hospital, where his father found him dead.

14. Dimitris Papaioannou, aged 60, manger of the social insurance fund for flour industry employees, resident of Aristomenous 105, Athens. Around 11.30am on 17 November 1973, while at Omonia Square, he was caught up in tear gas fired by police. Taken to a Red Cross first aid station, which pronounced his death from a heart attack.

15. Yiorgos Yeritsidis, son of Alexandros, aged 47, tax office official, resident of Elpidos 29, Neo Irakleio, Athens. At noon on 17 November 1973, while driving his car at Nea Liosia (now Ilion), he was fatally wounded in the head by fire that came through the roof of the car. Taken to what is now the General State hospital, he died later on the same day.

16. Vasiliki Bekiari, daughter of Fotis, aged 17, a school pupil who also worked, from Ampelaki in Aitoloakarnania prefecture, resident of Metagenous 8, Neos Kosmos, Athens. At noon on 17 November 1973, while she was on the roof of her house, she was fatally wounded in the neck by gunfire. Taken to what is now the General State hospital, she was transferred to Evangelismos hospital, where she died the same day.

17. Dimitris Theodoras, son of Theofanis, aged 5½, resident of Anakreontos 2, Zografou, Athens. At 1pm on 17 November 1973, while crossing the street with his mother at the intersection of Tritis Orinis Taxiarxias St and Papagou Ave in Zografou, he was fatally wounded in the head by a shot fired from a military patrol (probably by Capt Spyridon Stathakis of the Tank and Cavalry Training Centre or ΚΕΤΘ, which was skirmishing on Agios Therapondos hill). Killed instantly, he was taken to the Children’s hospital, which confirmed his death.

18. Basri (Alexandros Vasilis) Karakas, aged 43, Afghan Turkic nationality, juggler, resident of Myron 10, Agios Panteleimonas, Athens. At 1pm on 17 November 1973, while walking with his 13-year-old son at the intersection of Heyden and Acharnon streets, he was fatally wounded in the abdomen by a shot fired from an armoured military vehicle. Taken directly to a morgue, where he was pronounced dead.

19. Alexandros Papathanasiou, son of Spyridon, aged 59, retired tax office official, from Kerasovo, Agrinio, Aitoloakarnania prefecture, resident of Naxou 116, Athens. At 1.30pm on 18 November 1973, while walking with his two young daughters at the intersection of Drosopoulou and Kythnou streets, opposite the 16th police station, he got caught up in gunfire fired from the station by police officers, and lost consciousness (syncope). Taken to a first aid station, he was pronounced dead.

20. Andreas Koumbos, son of Stergios, aged 63, tradesman, originally from Karditsa, resident of Amaliados 12, Kolonos, Athens. Between 11–12am on 18 November 1973, while walking at the intersection of Triti Septemvriou and Kapodistriou streets, he was injured in the pelvis by a shot fired from an armoured military vehicle. Taken to a Red Cross first aid station, he was transferred to what is how the General State hospital, before ending up at the KAT hospital, where he died on 30 January 1974.

21. Michailis Myroyiannis, son of Dimitris, aged 20, electrician, from Mytilini, resident of Asimaki Fotila 8, Athens. At noon on 18 November 1973, while walking at the intersection of Patision and Stournari streets, he was fatally wounded in the head with a shot fired from a revolver by an army officer (the perpetrator was Colonel Nikolaos Dertilis, who remains in jail to this day after his conviction for murder). Taken in a comatose state to a Red Cross first aid station and, from there, to the General State hospital, where he died later on the same day.

22. Kyriakos Panteleakis, son of Dimitris, aged 44, lawyer, from Krokees, Lakonia, resident of Feron 5, Athens. Between noon and 12.30pm on 18 November 1973, while walking at the intersection of Patision and Gladstonos streets, he was fatally wounded by fire shot from passing tanks. Taken to what is now the General State hospital, where he died on 27 December 1973.

23. Stathis Koliniatis, aged 47, from Piraeus, resident of Nikopoleos 4, Kamatero, Athens. Suffered head injuries when beaten by police on 18 November 1973. Died as a result of his injuries on 21 November 1973.

24. Yiannis Mikronis, son of Angelos, aged 22, electrical engineering student at the University of Patras, from Ano Alisos in Achaia. Participated in occupation of his university. Beaten afterwards, in circumstances that remain unclear. Suffered a ruptured liver, from which he died on 17 December 1973 at the General People’s hospital. Some sources say that he suffered his injuries in Patras; others say Athens. The case remains open. In some lists, his name is given as Kostas Mikronis.

Map showing where each victim was shot, beaten or died of complications following tear gas inhalation

Note: This list was updated on 10 November 2013 to correct the spelling of Toril Margrethe Engeland, as confirmed by her sister, Liv Kari Engeland.

Spreading a falsehood: the posthumous placing of a firebomb in Alexis Grigoropoulos’ hands

In Athens riots on 21 December 2008 at 8:14 pm

The truth is often one of the first causalities of war. The same applies to the recent Athens riots: not that these resembled a war (although many would argue that they did), but because truth fell victim to the dissemination of outright lies, mainly thanks to the media.

The lie is that Alexis Grigoropoulos and his friends had thrown or were about to throw a petrol bomb at the two special police offices in their car.

One might question why it is necessary to write about something that never happened.

It is important to write about it, because the idea that the youths on that fateful night were about to throw a petrol bomb at the police – thus putting their lives in grave danger – is used by many to legitimise the police killing of a 15-year-old boy.

Stencil of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, taken somewhere in Athens on 18 Dec 2008 (DMCU)

Stencil of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, taken somewhere in Athens on 18 Dec 2008 (DMCU)

Today, the newspaper I work, the Athens News, for received a letter on the riots that contained the following paragraph:

From the immediate press reports, before ideological blinkers took  hold, it appeared that the child threatened the police officers (and others) with deadly force (the petrol bomb). As such their action in shooting him dead, whilst unfortunate, was entirely reasonable. The murder charges appear to be grossly excessive and the chance of conviction to be zero. The police officer is to be pitied as a victim here. The matter was clearly one of self-defence at least if not justifiable homicide. If I were expected to judge the officer’s actions in hindsight, I would be far more alarmed about the ‘stray bullet’ hypothesis than of any action to shoot to kill in the circumstances.

The letter-writer made otherwise very valid points. However, as I told him, I could not agree to publish the above paragraph, as it contradicts much of what has emerged about that night.

I don’t think the letter-writer meant any offence and seemed sure that he had read the firebomb claim in one of the initial BBC reports on the shooting.

The BBC report contained no such claim, but some other news sources did.

False reports

Indeed, the claim that Grigoropoulos threw or had threatened to throw a bomb at the police was contained in some, but not all, of the initial reports on the killing which appeared on Sunday, December 7

These reports were:

The Australian

DOZENS of rioters have rampaged through central Athens after police shot dead a teenage boy who attempted to throw a petrol bomb at a patrol car, police officials said.

The youths smashed shop windows and set fire to refuse containers after the shooting, which took place in the traditionally left-wing Exarchia district of the Greek capital.

“Hundreds of them hit the streets, probably for revenge … Dozens of police units are gathering to try to control the situation,” said a police official, who declined to be named.

Tear gas filled the narrow streets of the busy neighbourhood and restaurants closed their shutters, witnesses said.

Police said there were no arrests or reports of injuries so far.

The shooting took place after a group of around six youths started pelting a police vehicle with stones. When one tried to throw a petrol bomb, a policeman shot him in the stomach, said the official.

Given its detail, the AFP report is, I believe, the source of the claim, and although it isn’t dated precisely, I believe it appeared before 3am GMT on Sunday, December 7, when a very similar report, published by an Iranian agency, appeared:

  • Press TV (Iran) report, published at 03:09:07 GMT on Sunday, December 7:

The shooting took place after a group of six youths started throwing stones at a police vehicle and when one of them tried to throw a petrol bomb, a policeman shot him, said a police official, who declined to be identified.

  • Another much cited report was published by CNN on December 7:

A police statement about the boy’s death said the incident started when six young protesters pelted a police patrol car with stones. The 16-year-old boy was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.

Police said the boy had been shot after a policeman fired into a crowd of people who had launched molotov cocktails at a police car.

Aljazeera

Police said the teenager was shot in the traditionally left-wing Exarchia district of the Greek capital on Saturday after the boy tried to throw a firebomb at a patrol car.

What is most worrying about the Al Jazeera post is that it presents the firebomb claim as fact. The AFP report, on which it is clearly based, at least attributed “police officials” as a source.

The effect that this disinformation is clearly evident in the comments on the article on the Al Jazeera. The first three readers, clearly fuelled by the bomb lie, wrote:

“He was throwing a fire bomb! He deserved to be shot” – Miguel, Mexico

“The idiot tried to throw a firebomb at a patrol car. He got what he deserved.” – JB, United States

“If you’re throwing a deadly weapon … what do you expect? I believe the officer was worried for his own safety and did what he had to do. what was a fifteen year old boy doing with a fire bomb? – Scott, Canada

  • Again, in a December 8 report datestamped 02:56 GMT on December 8, Al Jazeera repeated the allegation, again as fact:

Aljazeera2

The boy had tried to throw a firebomb at a police patrol car.

A police statement about the teenage boy’s death said the incident started when six young protesters pelted a police patrol car with stones. The teen was shot as he tried to throw a petrol bomb at the officers, police said.

What did the other agencies say?

It is important to point out that other news agencies made no reference to the petrol bombs. They had no reason to as the initial police report made no such reference to a firebomb.

Several hours after the incident, police issued a statement saying the patrol car, with two officers inside, was attacked by a group of 30 stone-throwing youths while patrolling the central district of Exarchia.

According to the initial statement given by the two officers, the incident occurred shortly after 9:00 on Saturday night when a police patrol car responding to a call in the Exarhia district was surrounded by a gang of 30 youths that started throwing stones and bits of wood at them.

A falsehood spreads

The original December 7 CNN article was still online on December 15, when it was mentioned on the talk page of the Wikipedia article on the riots, 2008 Greek riots.

It has since disappeared. However, the claim remains on other CNN reports on the shooting, including the December 8 one mentioned above.

The reference to the CNN claim in Wikipedia was first made on 11:01 (Greek time), on December 8. The source was the December 7 CNN article. The wording was:

A police statement stated that the teenager was killed while trying to throw a bomb at a police vehicle.

This statement, which was later reworded to

Police reports said the initial statement of the guard was that the shooting happened in self-defense, as the victim of the shooting was about to throw a molotov cocktail at the guards.

remained on Wikipedia until 22:06 (Greek time), December 14, when it was removed.

The claim in Greece

The claim was also published by a Greek English-language weekly newspaper, Athens Plus, which is owned by International Herald Tribune and Kathimerini:

In a letter to the editor published in the December 12 issue, Kerry Kay, from Kifissia, wrote:

… watching the media covering the killing of the 15-year-old boy, no one dared ask the question “What was a 15-year-old boy doing in the middle of the night attacking police cars with Molotov bombs?’’

Arguably, no one asked the question because a) the boy wasn’t carrying a bomb and b) the incident took place at 9pm and not in the middle of the night.

Surely, the Athens Plus should have exercised more editorial intervention in relation to this letter. It is simply irresponsible for an English-language weekly that is freely available to download and which is – judging by its readers’ letters – read by many Greeks abroad, to publish such unsubstantiated claims as fact, even in a reader’s letter.

Indeed, the letter contradicts the editorial line taken in the same issue:

The murder was not committed in the heat of battle between anarchists and riot police, where it could somehow be explained as a predictable accident. It came in the form of a police officer losing his temper and firing at a group of youngsters, who may or may not have taunted him and his partner when they drove by a bar in the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia.

Who is to blame?

It’s clear that the AFP report was based on the comments made by an unnamed police officer in the early hours of Sunday morning. AFP may have seen this information as a scoop, but surely report should have been based on official the police statement of the incident, which made no reference to petrol bombs, and not on the comments of an unnamed officer.

In any case, Epaminondas Korkoneas, the policeman who fired the fatal shots, also subscribes to the firebomb thesis. As a Reuters report, dated December 10, states:

A Greek policeman facing a murder charge for the shooting of a teenager testified to prosecutors on Wednesday that he fired warnings shots in self-defence when a gang of youths threw firebombs at him, a court source said.

The 37-year-old policeman, Epaminondas Korkoneas, said he did not realise that 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos had been hit by a ricochet bullet, the source told Reuters.

Why shouldn’t he? It seems to be his only defence, and judging by the letter mentioned at the beginning of this article and the many internet discussions taking place on the incident outside of Greece, the firebomb myth assures some that the killing was somewhat justified and the subsequent disturbances, which have very real causes, are completely illegimate.

Spreading unsubstantiated rumour so grave as this one could also have incited the violent reactions of demonstrators, particularly those abroad who were presented with the “firebomb fact” by the news agencies listed above.

News reporting should not just limit itself to reporting what actually happened, but also how what happened can be manipulated.