Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blogging in Greece: The dark side

It seems that the Greek state has joined that illustrious list on enlightened regimes that feels that it can use the full force of the law to gag bloggers who have unpopular opinions. It seems that the the owner of a Greek blog aggregating service BLOGME is being sued for hosting a blog with some satirical material about a famous person. Antonis Tsiropoulos, Blogme's administrator was arrested and hauled off to the spend the night in jail and later to taken in handcuffs to the District Attorney. This is akin to arresting the owners of Technorati or Google as they hosted something you disagree with.

As the Greek blogger, Xpsilikatzoy says;

"In Greece of 2006 we have the first sue against a site that (through rss) published some satirical posts (from a blog) about a famous person. You see, in my country WE ARE NOT FREE. The owner of the site was handcuffed and driven to prison for one night and now he is free until the day he testifies in court. His computer with all his work was taken away from the police and now we are all waiting for the court to decide.The site I am referring to : BLOGME

Excuse my bad English but this was the only way to inform all foreign bloggers that my country is not free anymore.

Please tell everyone you know."

According to, the person behind all this is none other than Dimitris Liakopoulos, one of the most hateful and racists figures to disgrace Greek TV. A man whose national chauvanism and anti - semitism are on view every night of the week on the local TV channels here in Thessaloniki. I too have talked about him in less than glowing terms and have linked to videos from YouTube (see here) that make fun of his racist rants. So, I guess that I, too I'm guilty of slandering a man whose views are so foul that they would make most far right thinkers blush.

"Update: The man arrested was Antonis Tsipropoulos and the target of the satire was Dimosthenis Liakopoulos - a controversial Greek tele-evangelist. The satire site that mocks Mr Liakopoulos can be found at, but since it is hosted in the US, neither the Greek authorities nor even Mr Liakopoulos can get at it.
What Mr Tsipropoulos has been charged with, god only knows. But this is a spectacular own goal by the Greek authorities on the eve of the IGF. (Internet Governance Forum) Particularly since making a crime of linking to someone else’s content is pure, and legally foolhardy, censorship."

For more information in Greek click here.
For more information in English click here, here and here.


teacher dude said...

That's where we come in. The more people blog about this the less easy it is to keep a "local" problem.

dorapap said...

This is outrageous! Where is the freedom of speech?