Minister for Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis
Minister of Justice, Kostas Tsiaras
Chief of the Hellenic Police, Police Lieutenant General Michail Karamalakis
Věra Jourová, European Commission, Vice-President for Values and Transparency
Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Irene Khan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression
Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
David Casa MEP and Ramona Strugariu MEP, Co-Chairs of European Parliament Media Working Group
George Moschovis, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Greece
9 April 2021
Dear Minister Chrisochoidis,
Dear Minister Tsiaras,
The Media Freedom Rapid Response is gravely concerned about reports that veteran crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz was fatally shot outside his home in Athens today in what appears to be a planned attack. We urge you to ensure a swift and thorough investigation that results in all those responsible for the murder being brought to justice.
On 9 April, Karaivaz reportedly returned home from work on a show on Star TV when unidentified assailants ambushed him. He was found dead outside his car, parked beside a small park near his home. At the time of writing, police had launched a search for the suspected perpetrators, who remain at large. Neighbours did not report hearing gunfire, which would suggest the use of a silenced weapon. This and the nature of the attack suggests a coordinated and planned assassination.
The Media Freedom Rapid Response call for a swift and thorough investigation, which examines any links between the assassination and Karaivaz’s journalistic work as a veteran crime reporter and results in all perpetrators, go-betweens and masterminds being brought to justice. Swift and robust action is needed to protect against a culture of impunity taking root and encouraging others to target and attack journalists and media workers.
We will closely follow the investigation.
European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
Free Press Unlimited
International Press Institute (IPI)
This letter has been written by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers. The MFRR is organised by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). The project is co-funded by the European Commission.