1 October 2003


Petrol bomb attack on home of television host who probed terrorism

Incident details

Anna Politkovskaja


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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has voiced concern over attempts to intimidate television presenter Anna Panayotarea because of her investigation of the Greek terrorist group 17 November. The organisation has also condemned an attack on her Athens home on the evening of 29 September 2003, in which two individuals on a motorcycle threw a home-made petrol bomb at the front door. The explosive device caught fire, causing damage but no injuries. Anti-terrorism police are investigating the incident.

A presenter with the commercial television station Alpha, Panayotarea told RSF she had been threatened several times in the past. In the past few weeks, she had received anonymous phone calls and had the feeling that she was being followed, she said. She linked this and the attack on her home to her investigations into the 17 November terrorist group.

There has been controversy surrounding news coverage of the dismantling of the 17 November group, which is believed to have killed more than 20 leading Greek figures and foreigners since 1975. The press has been accused of following the government's line uncritically, and of being used to encourage the public to denounce terrorists to the police.

About 30 people believed to be anarchist militants attacked television journalists on 13 September 2002 as they were filming outside the Athens home of a lawyer who was acting for two accused members of 17 November. On 26 September 2002, demonstrators marching towards the United States embassy in Athens damaged a vehicle of the commercial television station Mega and injured several journalists, while slogans in support of the 17 November group were painted on nearby walls. On 2 October 2002, a score of presumed anarchists attacked the Athens offices of the daily newspaper "Apogevmatini", which had strongly supported the crackdown on the group (see IFEX alert of 8 October 2002). The newspaper's owner, Nikos Momfertos, was murdered by 17 November in 1985.


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