Medical &Health

Shock as Greek journalist is shot dead outside his home

A veteran Greek crime reporter was

gunned down outside his Athens home on Friday, police said, sending

shockwaves in a country unaccustomed to media killings.

“The murder has shocked us all,” government spokeswoman Aristotelia

Peloni said in a statement.

“The authorities are already investigating the case,” she added.

Giorgos Karaivaz, who worked for private TV station Star and also

ran the news blog bloko.gr, was shot several times as he exited his

car outside his house in the southern Athens district of Alimos,

witnesses said.

“I tried to park my car where he lay. I thought someone had

fainted. He was lying face down…blood was flowing onto the

sidewalk,” a woman who lives in the neighbourhood told reporters.

Flowers were left Friday on the spot where the slain journalist fell.

“I am deeply shocked following reports that journalist Giorgos

Karaivaz was shot dead in Athens,” vice president of the EU commission

in charge of values and transparency, Vera Jourova, said in a tweet.

“My thoughts are with his family and colleagues. Justice should be

served, and the safety of the journalists should be guaranteed,” she

added.

A police source said the journalist, who was in his fifties, had

been shot by two men on a motorbike. Seventeen bullet casings were

recovered from the scene.

“The founder and owner of bloko.gr is no longer with us,”

Karaivaz’s blog said.

“Somebody chose to silence him, to stop him with bullets from

writing his stories,” it said.

“6,099 reporters will fight to uncover what happened,” said Maria

Antoniadou, head of the Esiea union of Athens daily newspaper

journalists.

Karaivaz, who was one of Greece’s longest-tenured and best known

crime reporters, was married and has a 21-year-old son.

“He was extremely intelligent and one of the few fighting reporters

in the field,” said a police officer who knew Karaivaz well, speaking

on condition of anonymity.

“I can’t even process this information, I’ve known this man for 32

years,” fellow Star TV journalist Vaios Syrros said during the

station’s afternoon news show.

While Greek media offices are frequently targeted in firebomb and

vandalism attacks, journalist killings are rare in Greece.

Some journalists request police protection after receiving threats,

but Karaivaz was unguarded.

“It was not his style to request protection,” the police officer told AFP.

The shooting occurred at a time when Greek authorities had received

criticism for allocating too many police guards to a controversial TV

presenter.

Hours before Karaivaz’ murder, Citizen’s Protection Minister

Michalis Chrysohoidis had suggested in parliament that state

protection system was being exploited by ‘(rodents) of the public

sphere’ who did not deserve it.

“For the last 20 years, every (police) minister has tried to take

back (officers) from ‘VIP duty’ and put them back on the front line,”

the minister said.

In July, tabloid newspaper owner Stefanos Chios survived after

being shot in the neck and chest by a hooded man outside his home.

The case is still under investigation.

In 2010, radio manager, blogger and investigative journalist

Socratis Giolias was gunned down outside his home.

At the time, state TV NET said he had been working on a story about

corruption.

A shadowy far-left group claimed responsibility for the crime but

the case was never solved.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)