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24 Σεπ 2012

Is there freedom of speech in Greece?

If it was not so scary, it would actually be hilarious. Greek Police arrested
(google translated) on Friday the administrator of a Facebook page, and charged him with the offenses of “Malevolent Blasphemy” and “Insulting Religion”.

Let us start at the beginning however: A few years back the Far Right (and not only them apparently) in Greece discovered a monk, Elder Paisios, that supposedly was a highly spiritual person, even a prophet and an (after death) performer of miracles.

Skeptics have dismissed these claims and have even started satirizing the fixation of people with Elder Paisios. One of the most recent and successful satires has been Elder Pastitsios. A quick explanation for those that do not speak Greek: Pastisio is a dish, similar to the more widely known Mousaka, that sounds approximately the same with the name of the monk.

A few days ago, on the 17th of September, an MP of Golden Dawn, mentioned the FB page of Elder Pastitsios (comparing it with Athens Indymedia), in the Parliament and asked for the intervention (google translated) of the Cyber Crime Squad of the Greek Police, which happened according to the press release, on the 21st of September and its 27 year old administrator got arrested.

We should note here, that the Greek Orthodox Church, has not yet made any comments regarding the issue.

These events raise serious questions about the freedom of speech in Greece, its limitations and the influence of the Golden Dawn over the state.

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