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Golden Dawn Watch to shine a spotlight on upcoming trial

Greek anti-racism groups announced on Thursday an initiative to provide daily coverage and analysis of the upcoming trial of Greek far right party, Golden Dawn.
Their reports are also expected to be translated into English. As reported by ABC, Eleftheria Koumandou, a journalist and coordinator of the Greek observatory against racist speech in the media, commented that  ”This is one of the most important trials in modern Greek history.”

Due to convene on 20 April,  72 members and supporters of the Neo-Nazi party will go on trial, facing a variety of charges including murder, conspiracy to murder, racist violence and membership of a criminal organisation. The charges come as the result of an investigation initiated after the fatal stabbing of anti-fascist rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, in September 2013, though the group had been previously implicated in a series of racist attacks on immigrants over a number of years.  Amongst those on trial are party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and all of its MPs.  Takis Giannopoulos, spokesman for the antifascist coordination group of Athens-Piraeus referred to the trial as a “historic opportunity to convict fascism and Nazism in all its aspects,” but also pointed out that ”the conviction is a first step only, as we need to eliminate the causes that generate fascism, such as poverty and inequality. “

The trial is set to take place in the high security prison of Korydallos in Athens, although there has been protests and concerns voiced in Athens about the disruption the trial would cause to local residents and schools. Apart from media attention, there are fears of clashes between Golden Dawn supporters and antifascists. Additionally, the party has been known to use intimidation tactics when its members have faced trial in the past. Golden Dawn Watch also therefore also aims to send the message that the world is watching, and that such tactics will not succeed, “The goal is to have a normal trial without a climate of terror, and to send a message that society is watching both Golden Dawn and the justice system,”  said Dimitris Christopoulos, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights.

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