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Zak Kostopoulos,  a democracy & tolerance test for the Greek society Zak Kostopoulos, a democracy & tolerance test for the Greek society
by Thanos Kalamidas
2020-10-24 08:43:07
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While the court decided that the nazi Golden Dawn is a criminal organization sentencing its leadership into years of imprisonment, another case starts now to unveil the homophobic, discriminating, prejudice often racist reality of the Greek society. And while Golden Dawn’s arguments were mostly limited in the court room, in murdered Zak Kostopoulos case the court room expands in social media and mainstream talkshows often showing how far homophobic and discriminating Greece really is.

zak01_400_01Zak Kostopoulos’ case is a multileveled story. A young man, known LGBQT activist using the name Zackie Oh, according to a jewellery store owner and a neighbour passerby in the centre of Athens, died while trying to escape from the security locked jewellery shop, after a failed robbery and under the influence of drugs. This soon became the official verdict supported by the police which …miraculously even presented a knife and a strongly questionable examination of the body where two coroners reinsured the media that: “no fatal injury was found on the body”.

While this story, often enriched with exaggerated and often prejudice details about Zak Kostopoulos’ lifestyle, was circulated by media and police more and more witnesses appeared giving a totally different story and eventually revealing a cover up that included the jewellery store owner, the neighbour, the police and a few ‘witnesses’.

Zak Kostopoulos first went to a nearby café to get a bottle of water where a local bully went physically after him forcing him to run away and try to find a settler he entered the jewellery store where the owner and a ‘neighbour’ attacked him while energizing the security locks and trapping him inside the shop. In his effort to escape from the new wave of beating, Zak Kostopoulos tried to break through the glass window of the shop trapping himself even further and becoming an easier target to the two men beating and this time kicks on his head. The beating and kicking was so violent so the young man died short time after and on the way to the hospital.

A new examine of the body shown that Zak Kostopoulos died because of the beating and especially the inhuman kicking on his head. Furthermore toxicology proved that Zak Kostopoulos had no drugs of any kind in his blood plus that his alcohol levels were so low he could actually drive if he wanted. Eventually it became clear that Zak Kostopoulos was known to his attackers and the police as an LGBQT and perhaps targeted. But all this has to be proven in the court room.

However and with new evidence verifying that it was a murder constantly emerging the conservative media, religious freaks and internet communities have started a lynching of the victim focusing in his identity instead of his murder. The participation is overwhelming proving how deep prejudice and homophobic Greek society is.

And this is the society a nazi criminal group found the right soil to bloom. Despite all excuses, the memorandums and the politicians corruption was only party responsible for the rise of the nazi party, but from the rice of a racist, homophobic, prejudice and deeply violent party to 700,000 votes there is a big difference. Corruption and memorandums were only the excuse and not the cause that gathered all these people around the Nazis. I repeat; racism, prejudice and homophobia are deeply integrated in the Greek society and it was natural that eventually they would affect the way democracy works in Greece.

One answer could be found that politicians, especially in the right, often adopted homophobic and racist talk trying to attract this crowd instead of trying to educate and change them. Another one lies with the Greek Orthodox Church that has often and for long show in multiple ways her support to far-right ideals, mainly homophobia, racism, Islamophobia and all kinds of social discrimination. The Greek Orthodox Church, a corrupted organization with strong economic and political interests and investments in Greece, has often become an obstacle to democracy even supporting dictators, conspirators and criminals of the far-right including the nazi Golden Dawn.

In Zak Kostopoulos’ case it is not only the murderer jewellery store owner and his neighbour to be judged, it is also the police. An institution that sees the people through political lenses and often openly shown loyalties to the far-tight. After all in the last elections police departments shown up to 75% to the criminal nazi Golden Dawn and some policemen don’t shy to show nazi and fascist tattoos, t-shirts or stickers on their official uniforms. The current authoritarian government of Kyriakos ‘Koulis’ Mitsotakis has nothing further to prove, ministers, MPs of the ruling party and the PM himself has often exhibit their prejudice, xenophobia and homophobia with some MPs often flirting with Nazism. The majority of the media are in the same boat with the government manipulating information and often spreading lies.

But who really going to be judged is the Greek society. Is the Greek society democratic, tolerant and without prejudice as a modern democratic society should be or is it a society deep in racism, prejudice, discrimination and homophobia as the rise of Golden Dawn and the murder of Zak Kostopoulos has shown?

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