Reacting to today’s decision by the Athens Mixed Jury Court acquitting four police officers of involvement in the death of LGBTI activist Zak Kostopoulos, Glykeria Arapi, Director of Amnesty International Greece said:
“It beggars belief that despite footage showing police using unnecessary force to arrest Zak while he lay dying on the ground, no officer has yet to be held to account. Today’s decision is yet another example in Greece where victims of unnecessary use of force and their families are left without justice.”
“Zak Kostopoulos will not be forgotten. Indeed, he has become a symbol of the fight for a society of freedom and equality. We take the ruthlessness of his senseless death and the injustice of today’s decision personally. In response we will redouble our efforts to make Zak’s vision – a world free from prejudice, stigma and racism – a reality.”
Zak Kostopoulos, a queer activist, drag artist and human rights defender from Greece, was brutally beaten up by two men after entering a jewellery shop in central Athens. Following the attack, footage showed police using unnecessary force to arrest Zak while he lay dying on the ground. According to the forensic report, Zak died from the multiple injuries he sustained.
In the intervening years there have been reports over serious flaws in the investigation of the case.
In its ruling today, the Mixed Jury Court in Athens found guilty two civilians for the offence of lethal bodily harm. The two men were handed a non-suspended ten-year prison sentence. The Court acquitted the four police officers. Three of the jurors asked for the police officers to be convicted for the offence of dangerous bodily harm.
For more information about the case see – My son was kicked to death – this is why I am seeking justice – Amnesty International