A foreign press correspondent was attacked on Sunday during a far-right protest in central Athens against the presence of migrants in Greece, according to Greek news agency ANA.
According to an AFP reporter and a video broadcast by Skai TV, Thomas Jacobi, working for the French newspaper La Croix and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, was left with facial bleeding after the attack.
Jacobi collaborated with journalist Angelique Kourounis for a documentary, “The Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair”, in 2016.
“They were hitting me for four and a half minutes until some policemen appeared. None stepped in. That’s the most shocking thing,” Jacobi told the Proto Thema website.
“I thought that with so many policemen there I could have done my job today. I was wrong again,” he said, adding he felt lucky he was not attacked with a knife.
“They attacked me because they recognised me,” Jacobi said.
It was the second assault on Jacobi, nearly a year to the day since members of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn attacked him, along with a cameraman and a photojournalist, also in Athens.
The three journalists were covering a protest outside the Greek parliament building over the renaming of North Macedonia.
According to the Greek police around 370 people rioted at Syntagma Square on Saturday.
They held aloft banners against the “colonisation of Greece by Islamists”. Golden Dawn members were also present.
The Athens News Agency reported Jacobi as saying he will file a lawsuit.
“Golden Dawners, no matter how hard you hit us, no matter if you are stealing our phones and recorders as you have done today, when 10 of you attacked us and especially Thomas, we won’t back down. Our correspondences will be sent and the streets will be ours,” Kourounis said in a tweet.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas condemned “the fascist attack” on Jacobi and said the authorities were investigating.
The Foreign Press Association of Greece (FPA) also condemned the attack and urged the authorities to take all action they could to identify the culprits.
“The existence of organised hit squads at the fringes of rallies aiming to intimidate journalists that are not of their liking can’t be tolerated,” the FPA stated.
“We can only condemn” the attack, La Croix editor-in-chief Guillaume Goubert told AFP, adding: “We are worried.”