A court in Athens has ruled in favor of Emmanuel Kypraios, a journalist who became deaf in both ears after riot police threw a stun grenade at him during an anti-austerity protest in June 2011.
“With the decision A8144 / 15-5-2020, a jury condemned the Greek riot police (MAT) for their attack against me on 15/06/2011. A great victory for democracy, the people, the (struggling) press and justice. We stood upright even nine years later,” Kypraios tweeted on Monday.
His acquittal was sealed by the Three-Member Administrative Court of First Instance of Athens with the identification of the two perpetrators and the conviction of the Greek state.
The experienced war correspondent was covering Greece’s anti-austerity protests in 2011 when riot police fired a stun grenade at him, even though he had identified his journalistic identity to authorities.
Kypraios is deaf in both ears as a result and faces a series of health problems (post-traumatic stress disorder, labyrinthine dysfunction, gait problems), while he has undergone two head surgeries for cochlear implant placement.
The court case:
Kypraios’ case first reached a courtroom in 2017, ending in July 2018 with a preliminary ruling asking the State to provide a copy of the security cameras at the scene, while accepting a request from the police to examine Kypraios by an ENT expert to determine his disability.
The reports of the independent technical experts certified that Kypraios received a stun grenade to the head and is deaf and dumb with serious health problems as a result.
Despite the contrary expertise of the State, the case returned to the courts in September 2019 and eventually ended in favor of the journalist.
The International Federation of Journalists, which represents more than 600,000 members in 141 countries, had fully backed the lawsuit filed by the journalist.