Academics protest Kotzias’s action against publication

Academics protest Kotzias’s action against publication

A group of academics have condemned legal action taken by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias against the publisher of the Athens Review of Books (ARB), which resulted in the freezing of the publisher’s bank accounts and the impounding of proceeds from sales by its distribution company, describing it as “unconscionable” and “vindictive.”

“Beyond the threatened destruction of an important publication, this development deals a severe blow to the right of free speech in Greece and to the uninhibited dissemination of knowledge and exchange of ideas, which are essential prerequisites of an open and democratic society,” said a statement that was signed by Lars Baerentzen, Department of Modern Greek, University of Copenhagen (retired); Richard Clogg, Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford; Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Studies, London School of Economics; John O. Iatrides, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Southern Connecticut State University; James E. Miller, Foreign Service Institute (retired); and Dimitris Papadimitriou, Professor of Political Science, University of Manchester.

“The ARB is a valuable cultural forum that must be defended against political influence of any kind,” the statement said.

Kotzias won a defamation suit against the magazine earlier this year over a reader’s letter it published describing him as a former “fanatical” Stalinist.

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