Israeli journalist beaten by Greek mob for photographing attack / Gil Shefler brutally assaulted in the street in central Athens (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) BY MEGHAN NEAL 06/09/12)
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A Jerusalem Post reporter — on assignment to cover the rise of a
Greek neo-Nazi-like political party — was viciously beaten in Athens
Tuesday for filming a mob that was attacking immigrants, refugees and
homeless people in the street.
About 20 men wearing masks and helmets were beating people with
batons outside the National Archaeological Museum, a popular tourist
spot in the capital city, The Jewish Journal reported.
The assaulted reporter, Gil Shefler, saw the mob attack and
instinctively grabbed his camera to start shooting, he told the
“I snapped a photo, and one guy came up and told me ‘Listen, don’t
take a photo. They’ll beat the hell out of you,’ ” Shefler told the
paper. “Seconds later, I was being chased by five of these people.
They caught me and beat me with sticks for around five minutes, I
Shefler was in Greece on assignment covering Golden Dawn, the right-
wing extremist political party that’s been compared to neo-Nazis. The
group has tried to distance itself from the Nazi label, but employs a
Greek symbol that resembles a swastika as its logo. Their offices are
also stocked with literature promoting Aryan supremacy, Reuters
The virulently anti-immigrant group enjoyed surprising success in a
May poll as austerity-angered Greeks responded to the organization’s
rhetoric, which blames immigrants for the country’s economic troubles.
Greek Ambassador Kyriakos Loukakis said the Greek
government “unreservedly condemns the attack.” He called The
Jerusalem Post to apologize.
Shefler was hospitalized for head and chest wounds and is now in good
“Back in Israel, bandages are off, wounds are healing, sun is
shining,” he tweeted Friday.
Shefler told newspapers he was stunned by people’s unresponsiveness
during the incident. Greek citizens walked calmly by as tourists ran
from the violent scene. Police showed up some 20 minutes after the
attack. An ambulance came but didn’t treat him because the mob was
still milling around, he said.
“Greek nationals were walking calmly by, doing their best to ignore
what was going on. I was beaten in the middle of the street for a few
minutes with police nowhere in sight,” he told The Huffington Post.
Local police told The Jerusalem Post they’re unsure who the attackers
were, but speculated they could be members of the Golden Dawn group
or anarchists associated with Syriza, a far-left party in Greece.
“This country is going through a hard time, and its citizens have my
empathy,” Shefler told the Athens News. “But authorities need to know
incidents like these do not inspire confidence. Clearly there is a
problem when mob violence can take place in broad daylight in the
center of the capital.” With News Wire Services (© Copyright 2012
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