Stop the prosecution of Savas Michael-Matsas and Constantinos Moutzouris

The International Committee of the Fourth International and the World Socialist Web Site emphatically oppose and denounce the state prosecution of Greek leftist Savas Michael-Matsas and academic Constantinos Moutzouris. They are the targets of a legal frame-up orchestrated by Greek fascists and their allies in the state.

Savas Michael is the General Secretary of the Greek EEK (Revolutionary Workers Party). He will stand trial in Athens on September 3. The fascist Golden Dawn group launched a lawsuit against him in his position as secretary of the EEK, accusing him of “defamation” and “incitement to violence and discord” for raising the slogan “smash fascism”, and of “disturbing the civil peace” by urging participation in an anti-fascist demonstration.

The Greek state authorities accepted the demand even though it related to an event four years ago, in May 2009, when the EEK issued a leaflet calling for participation in a protest against a murderous attack on immigrant communities in Athens by Golden Dawn.

Golden Dawn initiated a lawsuit that same month against various parties and organisations, including the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) SYRIZA, ANTARSYA and EEK, as well immigrant associations. Constantinos Moutzouris, who was at the time the dean of the National Technical University of Athens, was charged with having allowed the web site, Athens Indymedia, to broadcast from the campus.

It was not until after the Greek general elections in 2012 that the Greek police, under judicial order, began interrogations of those accused in the lawsuit. Only Savas Michael and Moutzouris were brought before the courts by the attorney general.

Golden Dawn has waged a filthy anti-Semitic campaign against Savas Michael, urging violent attacks upon him and accusing him of being “an instrument of the World Jewish Conspiracy to foment civil war among Greeks to impose a Judeo-Bolshevik regime in Greece.” Such language lays bare the fascistic agenda that underlies the legal persecution of Michael.

The ICFI has unbridgeable and extensively documented political differences with Savas Michael. Nevertheless, these differences do not lessen our opposition to his unjust prosecution, which is motivated by reactionary forces in Greece and directed against essential democratic rights. The clear intent of the coming trial is to silence opposition to a fascistic organisation with well-documented connections with the Greek state, its police and security apparatus. It is an attack on basic democratic rights such as free speech and freedom of the press.