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Journalist bodies condemn closure of Greek broadcaster as ‘assault on democracy’

By Ellie Chambers

The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have condemned the sudden closure of Greek state broadcaster ERT.

Both bodies have spoken out in support of the ERT journalists who have resisted the government actions by occupying the station’s headquarters and continuing to broadcast via the internet.

Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary of the NUJ, said: “This is a terrible decision. It is a direct assault on democracy at a time when the people of Greece need to be told what is going on.

“They need a reliable news source at this desperate time for the country, the economic situation and rise of dangerous far-right groups.

“The NUJ sends its support and solidarity to all the journalists who have been treated in this disgraceful way and we will be working with the IFJ to put pressure on the government to reverse its decision.”

The NUJ also confirmed it would be supporting tonight’s demonstration outside the Greek embassy in Holland Park, London

Charlie Harris, President of the CIoJ praised the determination of the ERT journalists. He said:

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“We wish them success in their fight to keep ERT’s news service running and to get it back on air – in the face of threats by the police to evict them from their offices and studios.

“And we note the heartening, massive show of support they are receiving from the Greek public.”

The NUJ and CIoJ’s messages of support come as part of an international outpouring of outrage at the ERT’s closure and support for its employees.

The bodies that have already spoken out include the International Federation of Journalists, the UNI MEI Global Union and the European Broadcasting Union, which is reported to have helped ERT journalists set up a makeshift studio.   

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