Updated: April 10, 2021 6:12:11 pm
Prominent Greek journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was fatally shot dead outside his home in Athens by two unidentified bike-borne assailants, reported Al Jazeera.
The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from politicians and the media fraternity.
Karaviaz worked for a private news channel, Star TV and was on his way home from work at around 2 pm when he was attacked by the two individuals on a motorbike.
According to Al Jazeera, preliminary reports said that the attackers used silencer in their weapons and fired multiple rounds. Seventeen bullet shells were collected from the crime scene.
A woman told reporters, “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.”
Greek police have launched a manhunt for the unidentified individuals and have said that the murder was carefully planned, Aljazeera reported.
Karaivaz was a very popular public figure. During his decades-long career, he had worked for several Greek newspapers and broadcast media houses. Well wishers have left flowers at the scene.
During a broadcast, his colleague at Star TV, Vairos Syrros said, “I can’t even process this information, I’ve known the man for 32 years.”
Karavaiz’s blog was updated with a statement, “The founder and owner of this bloko.gr is no longer with us. Somebody chose to silence him, to stop him with bullets from writing his stories.”
Greek politicians offered their support and condemned the act.
Al Jazeera reported that government spokeswoman, Aristotelia Peloni, said that murder was shocking and the authorities have launched investigations.
The journalists’ union also expressed their concern in a statement and lay emphasis on defending press freedom and journalists against pressure and threats. European organisation, The Media Freedom Rapid Response, said that it was “horrified by this killing, which from current information appears to bear all the signs of a targeted asassination.”
Their statement added, “Regardless of the motive, the killing of Giorgos Kraivaz is a tragic event for the journalistic community in Greece and a dark day for media freedom in the European Union.”
Vice-president of the EU commission in-charge of values and transparency, Vera Jourova tweeted, “I am deeply shocked following reports that journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead in Athens.”
Greece has rarely seen killings of journalists.
Another high profile case was of investigative journalist and radio manger Sokratis Giolias who in 2010 was also shot dead outside his house. Over ten years on, the identities of the gunmen still remain unknown.
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