Journalists condemn closure of ERT
RELEASE DATE: 12 June 2013
The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns the sudden closure of the news service of the Greek state broadcaster ERT as a blow against democracy.
Silencing broadcasters is one of the first actions of those staging coups against democratic regimes, it said.
And it congratulates ERT journalists on their determination to resist the Greek government’s action by refusing top leave the station’s HQ and continuing to broadcast via the internet.
CIoJ president Charlie Harris said: “We are appalled by the summary closure of ERT’s one-air services.
“Greece’s economic problems in no way justify silencing a national broadcaster. On the contrary: at a time of national crisis it is vital that the public has access to as many sources of news as possible.
“The Greek economics professor, Yanis Varoufakis, who described his government’s action as ‘totalitarian’ was right. It was, as he said, ‘a blow against democracy’, which is especially poignant in the country widely seen as the cradle of democracy, and which gave us that word.
“The Institute sends its best wishes to all the journalists at ERT who, it is reported, have worked unpaid since November.
“We wish them success in their fight to keep ERT’s news service running and to get it back on air – in the face of threats by the police to evict them from their offices and studios.
“And we note the heartening, massive show of support they are receiving from the Greek public.”