Trade unionists and scholars are calling on the Greek government to stop the witch hunt

On June 14, 2023 a small fishing boat with hundreds of refugees was sunk off the Greek shore of Pylos. About 700 migrants, mainly women and children, were drowned helplessly. A great political crisis erupted internationally in the international mass media and even in the European Union on the direct responsibilities of the Greek State authorities.

On July 18, the Solidarity Network of Free Medical Services in Greece, supported by 5 other collectives of solidarity to migrants, rescuers, artists, lawyers, etc. has organized a very successful public event demanding “Justice for the crime in Pylos” hosted in the garden of the Association of Greek Archaeologists at the center of Athens. Nearly a thousand people participated during the 5 hours event. The organizers of the event, the psychiatrist Katerina Matsa, the rescuer Iason Apostolopoulos, two lawyers from the Initiative of Lawyers for Truth and Justice for the Pylos tragedy took the floor, as well as many artists and activists.

The great success of the event produced fear and anger in the right wing Mitsotakis government, which desperately wanted to cover up the truth about the Pylos tragedy and the real culprits. A State orchestrated witch hunt was launched. Two days after the event a slanderous article appeared in the pro-government daily newspaper TA NEA targeting particularly the two main speakers Katerina Matsa of the Solidarity Network of Free Medical Services, well-known psychiatrist and political activist as well the well-known sea rescuer Iason Apostolopoulos who demolished all the phony narrative present by the Greek government and State authorities to cover up the truth about the causes of the shipwreck. The article called  to the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni demanding to act against the Association of the Greek Archaeologists that provided the space for this public event.

The Minister Mendoni immediately demanded in the most arrogant and aggressive manner answers by the elected leadership of the Association why it had permitted an event that criticized the government on the Pylos tragedy. Then Minister Mendoni on August 11 ordered the eviction of the Association from its own headquarters until October 10, two days after the coming  local government elections.

The headquarters of the Association of Greek Archaeologists were provided to it by the late great actress  Melina Merkouri, then Minister of Culture, in 1982! Hundreds of cultural and political events were hosted in this space the last 40 years… It is clearly a politically motivated government operation of censorship, to cover up the truth of this horrendous crime, which is not just a continuity of the tragedies of migrants and refugees trying to reach Fortress Europe but also a qualitative breakthrough. It is also an operation of State intimidation against all opposition voices and social dissent.

At the same time, Minister Mendoni and Prime Minister Mitsotakis himself need to get rid of the militant leadership of the Association of Greek Archaeologists and its current Chairperson Despina Koutsoumba, because for years, they had fought back against the disastrous neoliberal for profit policies of the right wing government destroying the cultural heritage of Greece The leadership of the Association of the Greek Archaeologists took a courageous militant stand against the government’s witch hunt revealing all the scandalous agenda of the Minister of Culture. The Association calls for solidarity in action from all the popular organizations, the trade union movement, the intellectuals, artists. and all the fighters for freedom and social justice in Greece, in Europe and internationally.

The International Socialist Center Christian Rakovsky and the web network RedMed expresses its solidarity to the Association of Greek Archaeologists and its leadership as well as to the organizers of the public event for the criminal shipwreck in Pylos. We should all be aware that the European Union and the member countries, including of course the Greek State, are pursuing a cruel policy of dumping the problems that derive from the migratory waves from the Middle East and the vast expanses of Asia far behind as well as form North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to other countries Around the Mediterranean.

Spain has appointed the King of Morocco to oversee migration and asylum seeking from deep Africa. What happened in Melilla last year, where an unknown number of migrants and asylum-seekers were killed in cold blood by the Moroccan police under the approving gaze of their Spanish counterpart, was testimony to this dirty partnership. Libya, after being left bloodless by the NATO aggression in 2011, is now burdened with the mandate to stop starving black Africans from moving into the European continent. The resulting misery has given birth to what is probably the most widespread traffic in human beings in the 21st century: a slave trade has flourished with slave camps on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. In order to stop the flow to Libya from sub-Saharan Africa at its source EU authorities have made deals with the notorious Sudanese butcher of Darfur, Hamdan Dagalo, alias Hemeti, which has clearly contributed to the growth of this criminal into the stature of one of the counter-revolutionary leaders of Sudan in the midst of a full-scale revolution that has flared several times between 2018 and 2022.

Italy had been implementing a horrendous policy of pushback under the pressure of Matteo Salvini of the Lega in the time of the previous government and now, ever more forcefully, the new prime minister of Italy, Georgia Meloni, a representative of the heirs of Mussolini , the Fratelli d’Italia. Meloni and the EU have made a special deal with the President of Tunisia, Kais Sayed, the new self-appointed dictator of the country. He became the praetorian guard of the EU and Italy in return for a modest sum of economic and financial aid. Kais Sayed is reciprocating by forcibly removing the African migrants from sub-Saharan regions to face slow death in the desert.

And Erdoğan’s Turkey has, after the blackmail of 2015, when the valves were opened for the access of the millions of asylum-seekers temporarily sojourning in Turkey to Europe, is now acting as a warehouse for these desperate millions, preventing them from accessing Europe, all in return for a yearly payment of several billion euros. As a result of these abominable policies, the Mediterranean has become the greatest cemetery in the world. We call all fighters around the world to stand together with all those activists who extend solidarity with asylum-seekers and migrants. To fight to reinstall the right to asylum and establish fraternal acceptance of migrants in all countries, but particularly in Europe.

Hands off the Association of Greek Archeologists!

No to the eviction of the Association from its legitimate headquarters!

Hands off all the solidarity fighters who organized the event ‘Justice for the crime in Pylos’!

Hands off the freedom of expression!

For a full investigation of the Pylos case in Greece by an international team of civil rights defenders! Let the truth shine on all such cases, including the Melilla case!

For the reinstatement of the right to seek asylum in a country of one’s choice

Down with Fortress Europe! Open the floodgates!

For a socialist Europe open to all the victims of European imperialism and colonialism!

Down with the wars of imperialism! Long live proletarian internationalism and the struggle for world socialism!

The struggle continues in Greece and internationally until victory!


EEK (Workers’ Revolutionary Party), Greece

DIP (Revolutionary Workers’ Party), Turkey

MTL (Marxist Workers’ League), Finland

ROR (Renaissance Ouvrière Révolutionnaire), France

Dokumentalni Foundation, Bulgaria

Opción Obrera, Venezuela

Mikhail B. Konashev, on behalf of the “Association Soviet Union”, Russian Federation

Adnan Serdaroğlu, Secretary-General of DISK (Revolutionary Trade-Unions Confederation), Turkey

Armağan Tulunay,“Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Barkın Asal, Scholar, Turkey

Beyzade Sayın, Education and Science Workers’ Union, Chairperson of Chapter 6, Turkey

Burak Sayım, “Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Cemil Ozansü, Scholar, Turkey

Daniela Penkova, Dokumentalni Foundation, Bulgaria

Ertuğrul Oruç, Secretary-General, Istanbul Chamber of Medicine, Turkey

Eva Lopez, Opción Obrera, Venezuela

Gökçe Çataloluk, Scholar, Turkey

Hakan Öztürk, EHP (Labour Action Party) Chairman, Turkey

Iliyan Stanchev, Dokumentalni Foundation, Bulgaria

İzzettin Önder, Scholar, Turkey

José Capitán, Opción Obrera, Venezuela

Kutlu Dâne, “Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Levent Dölek, DIP (Revolutionary Workers’ Party) Vice-Chairman, Turkey 

Miriş Meryem Kurtulmuş, “Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Osvaldo Coggiola, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Özdeniz Pektaş, “Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Özgür Öztürk, “Devrimci Marksizm” Journal, Turkey

Savas Michael-Matsas (Workers’ Revolutionary Party) Secretary General, Greece

Sungur Savran, DIP (Revolutionary Workers’ Party) Chairman, Turkey 

Süleyman Ulutürk, Scholar, Turkey

Şiar Rişvanoğlu, Lawyer, Turkey

Thomas Krausz, Eszmelet Journal, Hungary

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