Amnesty calls for transparent probe into LGBQT activist’s death


Amnesty International has called for a transparent and thorough investigation into the death last month of a 33-year-old LGBQT activist and the stance of police during the incident.

Zak Kostopoulos died after being assaulted and repeatedly kicked in the head outside a jewelry store in central Athens in what many have described as a homophobic attack.

His assailants, the store owner, 73, and a friend, 55, said the victim was trying to rob the shop.

They also claimed that they had been acting in self-defense, saying the 33-year-old threatened them with a knife.

Amnesty said the “lynching and murder” of Kostopoulos as well as the witness reports and video evidence that was publicized in the media “shattered all of us.”

“Zak was a human rights and an LGBQT activist, a homosexual, a drag queen and seropositive. He was beaten to death after he entered a jeweler shop… after he was violently trapped,” Amnesty said.

The two suspects face charges of assault and manslaughter, though a coroner’s report said there was no evidence to suggest that Kostopoulos died as a direct result of the beating.