Press groups and the Greek government have criticized the arrest of a journalist after a libel complaint filed by a member of the country’s parliament.
Despina Kontaraki of the newspaper Eleftheros Typos was arrested and released April 13 after a libel complaint by Rachil Makri, a member of parliament from the right-wing Independent Greeks party, according to the Associated Press.
Kontaraki, journalist Girogos Kouvaros and publisher Alexis Skanavis still face a civil suit over a column accusing Makri of supporting member of Greece’s far-right political Golden Dawn political party, according to the International Federation of Journalists.
The IFJ condemned the arrest and the Greek journalists’ union POESY (Panhellenic Federation of Journalists Union) called it “unacceptable.”
“We declare to all directions that will fight vigorously against those who attempt to silence journalists with threats and lawsuits,” the union wrote in a statement.
Simos Kedikoglou, a spoksman for the Greek government, also criticized Makri.
“It is unacceptable for a politician to respond to criticism from journalist, with lawsuits and arrests,” he told Athens-based daily newspaper Kathimerini.