#Skouries: branding the local community a criminal organization

Tolis Papageorgiou

Prominent Greek environmental activist Tolis Papageorgiou is due to appear in court today 07 July 2014. Together with 28 co-defendants, Papageorgiou faces charges of establishing a criminal organization and instigating violence for his action against ore mining in north-eastern Halkidiki, in particular in the Skouries forest, that has over the past two years become emblematic of the situation.

A civil engineer by profession, Papageorgiou hails from Ierissos, the village at the epicentre of the resistance movement to mining. After a successful career in Thessaloniki, he chose to return to his hometown in the early 1990s, when it became clear that ore mining was set to be expanded to such levels that the whole of north-eastern Halkidiki, a region of exceptional natural beauty and biodiversity, was to be transformed into an industrial wasteland, leading to the utter destruction of its delicate ecosystem and, consequently, of its society and culture.

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Why I’m taking it personally

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been going to bed at night and waking up in the morning thinking of a person I have never met and will likely never meet. I hardly know anything about the man himself. I only know that his name is Kostas Sakkas, that he’s 29 years old and that he was a university student until December 2010. That’s a lot less than what I knew about all the people I wrote letters for when I was a campaigner for Amnesty International.

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#rbnews weekly show 06 July 2013 – The failure(s) of democracy in Greece

This week on the #rbnews international show, we asked lawyer Crystali Bourcha from the Movement for the Liberties and Democratic Rights of our Times (Greek acronym KEDDE) and journalist Mariniki Alevizopoulou from Unfollow Magazine to comment on the items that we included in our news bulletin of the week, which all seem to point towards the failure of democracy in Greece.You can listen to the podcast and read the news bulletin after the jump.The interviews were taken by phone. We apologize for the poor quality of the sound, especially in the case of our interview with Crystali Bourcha. For some unexplainable reason, the recording device was particularly intent to add parasites to her speech. 

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Amnesty International: the situation of human rights in Greece is deteriorating

Posted by @IrateGreek

The Greek chapter of Amnesty International organized a press conference to present the organization’s annual report in front of the Aliens’ Department in Athens today. This symbolic choice reflects Amnesty’s key findings about the situation of human rights in Greece in 2013:

“Allegations of human rights abuses by police, including torture and excessive use of force continued throughout the year. Migrants and asylum seekers faced impediments in registering their asylum applications and were often detained in substandard conditions. Hate crime on the basis of race and ethnicity escalated dramatically.”

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LGBT rights in Greece: one new case of State censorship and discrimination

The Athens Pride denounced on Thursday 16 May the decision by the National Council for Radio & Television to ban all Athens Pride publicity spots until the plenary session of the Council can discuss the appropriateness of their broadcast. The reason for given by the Council is the fact that the spots include a lesbian kiss.

This is the second such incident of censorship and discrimination against the LGBT community on Greek media in recent months. In October 2012, State TV channel NET had chosen to edit a kiss between two men out of a episode of Downton Abbey. After viewers reacted angrily on social media, most importantly on Twitter with the hashtag #puritaNET, the channel’s director Kostas Spyropoulos had argued that the scene was cut because of the time of the broadcast and the “suitable for all” rating of the show, whereas late-night re-runs would include the scene – ignoring a 2003 ruling by the Council of State which condemned the Council’s decision to censor a gay kiss scene on Mega TV channel.

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The Kallipoli police station: A little Guantanamo and its little people

Posted by @csyllas, translated/adapted from Greek by @IrateGreekThe following is an eyewitness account from Giorgos Karystinos after a visit to the Kallipoli police station in Piraeus on 03 May 2013

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Greece found guilty by European Court of Human Rights over immigration cases

By @Polyfimos, translated from Greek by @IrateGreekThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Greece was guilty of violations of the right to liberty and safety and of humane treatment of migrants in the case of Albanian minor immigrant Albano Barjamaj.

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