European Federation of Journalists

Greece: Who ordered Greek journalist’s murder?

Credits: Yiannis Panagopoulos Eurokinissi / AFP

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the undersigned members of the Media freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in welcoming the start of the trial, on 26 June, of two suspects accused of the 2021 killing of Greek investigative journalist, Giorgos Karaivaz. We also call on the authorities to redouble efforts to identify those who ordered his murder

Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead on 9 April 2021, near his home in Alimos, by professional hitmen who then escaped on a motorbike. The suspects were apprehended in April 2023, and have since been held in pretrial detention. The trial must conclude by 28 October this year, when their pretrial detention ends.

Despite the forthcoming trial, the investigation remains ongoing, as the Karaivaz family seeks to uncover who ordered the murder. The indictment states that the murder was a paid “contract killing“, orchestrated by organized criminals. According to media reports therefore the trial will not examine the motives for the murder and who might have ordered the killing. 

We commend the steps taken towards prosecution, while emphasizing the necessity for thorough and transparent investigations to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable. 

Greece is the only EU Member State with two unsolved cases of murdered journalists, following the unresolved 2010 killing of journalist Sokratis Giolias. The trial also takes place in a broader context of press freedom challenges in Greece following the spyware surveillance scandal, vexatious lawsuits and a crisis for media pluralism.

The following recommendations, initially proposed in the MFRR 2023 report Stemming the tide of Greek media freedom decline, remain pertinent:

  • The public prosecutor should allocate additional resources and seek international assistance from bodies such as Europol for the Karaivaz investigation.
  • The Greek government should ensure effective and independent investigations of all crimes against journalists.
  • The Supreme Court prosecutor should commission an independent review of unresolved cases involving attacks on journalists.

While acknowledging the establishment of the Task Force on Ensuring Protection of Journalists in July 2022, we still await tangible results regarding the full implementation of measures recommended by the European Commission for the safety of journalists. The Greek government must take decisive action to protect journalists and ensure accountability for past injustices.


Signed by

  • International Press institute (IPI)
  • The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
  • Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)
  • Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  • ARTICLE 19 Europe


This statement was produced as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and candidate countries.