On April 27, 2021, the International Press Institute (IPI) issued a statement, expressing serious concerns about reports that had appeared in the Greek press about a death contract taken out against the journalist Kostas Vaxevanis. The IPI also called on the Greek authorities to conduct an investigation to identify all those involved in the case.
The statement details,
“On 23 April, Vaxevanis, a veteran investigative journalist and publisher of the newspaper Documento, reported that he had been given credible information that his life was at risk and that a contract for his murder had been spread through the Greek mafia.
After the alleged threat was reported, Vaxevanis was immediately placed under increased protection by the Hellenic Police and the minister of civil protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, announced that the Athens Prosecutor’s Office had launched a preliminary investigation.
In an article published in Documento on Friday night, Vaxevanis announced that in the last few weeks two individuals had reached out to warn him that there was a “price on his head” and that an individual whom the newspaper had made revelations about had taken out the contract for his and a colleague’s execution in the criminal underworld.”
IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen added that,
In a state that adheres to the rule of law, where individual rights are protected as well as the freedom of the press, journalists have the right to practice their profession freely and independently, without censorship or influence.
Despite the guarantee of the freedom of the press by Article 14 of the Constitution, the International Press Institute (IPI) in this case expresses strong concerns about reports suggesting that a death contract has been taken out against the journalist Kostas Vaxevanis.
The existence of a criminal plot such as this blatantly threatens both the journalist himself and the freedom of the press and expression in Greece, aiming at silencing those who practice independent journalism.
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