Stavros Malichudis

Chief Editor

Stavros is a reporter and editor. He has worked for the Agence France-Presse and inside story, and has participated in cross-border investigations with Lighthouse Reports and Investigate Europe. He’s member of Reporters United. His reports have been published in European media. He was shortlisted for the European Press Prize ‘21 and won the IJ4EU Impact Award ‘22. In 2019 he was selected as a fellow for BIRN's Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence (BFJE). He has been trained in data journalism at Columbia University in New York on a fellowship.

Stavros's contributions

01 / 12 / 2023

Dead refugees in the Balkans: bribes to find missing relatives

In comparison to 2015, today more asylum seekers are dying on the Balkan route. While relatives are forced to overcome state indifference to identify their loved ones, they are also forced to bribe authorities, even border guards, in the hope of finding them.

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25 / 10 / 2023

Kythira shipwreck, one year later

They were rescued from a raging sea. Now, survivors and relatives of the October 2022 shipwreck are returning to Kythira to thank the residents.

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24 / 10 / 2023

Fish farms on Poros: Why the residents are against it

About 25% of the Saronic island is slated for the operation of fish farming units, which plan on increasing their activity by 670%. Municipal Authority and residents — who disagree with the plan — fear that the character of the island will change forever.

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06 / 07 / 2023

Under the unwatchful eye of the authorities’ deactivated cameras: dying in the darkest depths of the Mediterranean

A collaborative investigation by Solomon, Forensis, The Guardian and ARD presents the most complete tracing, to date, of the course that the fishing vessel Adriana took until it ultimately sank, causing over 600 people to drown − while under the supervision of Greek and European authorities. A document reveals that according to Frontex recommendations, the Coast Guard vessel was obligated to record the operation on video.

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Pylos shipwreck

15 / 06 / 2023

“They are urgently asking for help”: the SOS that was ignored 

The Hellenic Coast Guard stated that they did not commence a rescue operation to aid the fishing trawler overloaded with migrants before it eventually sank because the vessel refused assistance. International law experts, as well as active and former Coast Guard officials, refute this argument. In addition, communication between Alarm Phone and authorities (which are in Solomon’s possession), prove that the migrants on board had sent out an SOS – which was ignored.

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04 / 05 / 2023

Is Edelman following Predator?

The president and CEO of a Greek company linked to communications giant Edelman attended an event organized on the Greek spyware scandal. That raises questions about whether Edelman is involved in the issue’s communication management on behalf of the Greek government. Solomon reveals documents extending Edelman's contract with the government.

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19 / 04 / 2023

Hawala: The bankers of irregular migration

The absence of legal migratory routes towards Europe has raised the importance of entrusted intermediaries that operate through the ‘hawala’ system and serve both as a bank for smugglers and as an insurer for migrants.

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13 / 04 / 2023

Tal Dilian: How Mr Predator attempted to save his image

His name is linked to wiretapping scandals in Cyprus & Greece – the former Israeli intelligence officer is one of Europe’s most controversial figures. Solomon’s OSINT investigation reveals how a months-long campaign attempted to create a positive online narrative about Tal Dilian and his business activities.

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27 / 03 / 2023

Their sons were murdered by Neo-Nazis. Now they vow to keep their memory alive.

Serpil Temiz Unvar and Magda Fyssa, who lost their sons to racist crime in Germany and Greece, join forces to fight against far-right violence—so that the murders stop.

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23 / 03 / 2023

Pushbacks: MEPs ask for explanations after a report by Solomon & El País reveals mistreatment and exploitation of refugees

The president of the LIBE Committee and Spanish MEPs have asked the EU to investigate recent revelations and have proposed making adherence to human rights law a condition for the allocation of EU funds to Greece.

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09 / 03 / 2023

The Great Robbery: during illegal pushbacks in Greece, refugees are robbed by border guards

Solomon's investigation, in collaboration with the Spanish newspaper El País, reveals that Greek security forces have stolen more than €2 million from refugees during pushbacks.

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14 / 02 / 2023

Lack of transparency in the Greek Ministry of Migration’s €1.7 million in secret funding

When the Migration Minister created a classified fund he claimed full transparency, so that spending "would not need to be marked ‘confidential’ in the end". Three years later there has been no transparency at all.

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18 / 01 / 2023

The secret pushback “prisons” on the ferries of the Greece-Italy route

A month-long cross-border investigation, coordinated by Lighthouse Reports, reveals for the first time the secret rooms of the passenger ships, in which hundreds of asylum seekers are illegally deported from Italy to Greece.

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09 / 12 / 2022

A game for press freedom in Greece

In November 2021, Stavros Malichudis was the first journalist to reveal that he had been under surveillance by the Greek intelligence agency. A year later, he tells what it is like to be a journalist in the country ranked last in Europe for press freedom.

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18 / 11 / 2022

Exclusive: UN Letter Documents Greek Pushback of Turkish Asylum Seekers

In March, eight Turks reached Greece by boat, fearing persecution in their homeland. The UN urged Greece to provide protection, but instead the men were pushed back to sea and into the arms of the Turkish police.

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02 / 09 / 2022

Passport Privilege: Turkish Fraudster’s Route to Honorary Greek Citizenship

Solomon and BIRN look at how a Turkish businessman – convicted of fraud in Turkey in 2017 and arrested with a fake Greek passport in 2019 – bought his way to honorary Greek citizenship.

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31 / 08 / 2022

Asylum Surveillance Systems Launched in Greece without Data Safeguards

With money from the EU’s pandemic-recovery fund, systems to monitor the movements of asylum seekers in Greece were designed and launched without basic data safeguards required under EU law.

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15 / 07 / 2022

Dark Waters of the Aegean: 1,018 illegal pushbacks carried out by the Greek state

It has become a common practice for Greek authorities to abandon asylum seekers at sea, which has resulted in injuries and drownings. An interactive map reveals the recurring crime committed across the Aegean Sea. The Greek government must explain how abducting people in need and abandoning them in life rafts is linked to international law and European values.

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21 / 06 / 2022

Facing 10 years in prison for an act of desperation

A year and a half ago, a young pregnant woman from Afghanistan, living at the Mavrovouni camp on Lesvos, attempted suicide by setting fire to her tent. On June 22, 2022, she stands trial, accused of arson with intent.

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19 / 04 / 2022

European Court decision finds 2016 collective pushbacks “lawful”

On April 5, the European Court of Human Rights handed down a negative judgement on claims regarding the alleged pushback of approximately 1,500 asylum seekers into Greece via North Macedonia in 2016. ECHR acknowledged their violent persecution, but believed the applicants could have applied for asylum by other legal means ― although there weren’t any.

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22 / 03 / 2022

Ukraine war: the “real” refugees and the lies of the Greek government

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Greek government ministers and MPs have spread false claims about refugees and international law. While experts, the UNHCR, and EU data refute their claims and more allegations are reported regarding Greece’s illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers.

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10 / 03 / 2022

Masafarhána: Inside the invisible refugee houses in Athens

In Athens, refugees pay to live in small apartments which accommodate up to 22 people. They often fall victim to exploitation by their compatriots. But sometimes the masafarhánas offer them the forgotten feeling of home.

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28 / 01 / 2022

Unaccompanied minors: The fear of adulthood

Like most teenagers in Europe, they should be waiting for their 18th birthday with excitement and impatience. But for the thousands of asylum seekers who are unaccompanied minors, the day they turn 18 – when they go from being minors in need of protection to being regarded as "men" and even "foreigners" – is a day accompanied by anxiety about what tomorrow might bring and by the fear of deportation.

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16 / 11 / 2021

I am the journalist being watched by the Greek secret service

Our colleague Stavros Malichudis found out from a newspaper article that the National Intelligence Service, the agency charged with protecting national security, had information “from a highly credible source” about a story he was working on. He asks: Is journalism a threat to democracy?

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Building economies within walls

12 / 11 / 2021

Building economies within walls

Ritsona is the largest refugee camp on Greece’s mainland. Excluded from the region’s social and economic network long before the pandemic, the camp gradually acquired its own life. Today, with new surveillance technologies being installed at the camp, there are growing fears that the camp community will become completely isolated.

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12 / 11 / 2021

Greengrocer’s, barbershops, pool halls: Inside the marketplace of the Ritsona

A photo report by Thodoris Nikolaou for Solomon

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19 / 10 / 2021

Congolese minor suing Frontex: “I thought that the law is upheld in Europe”

A.N., a young woman from Burundi, was recently granted asylum in Greece. However, her struggle continues. She is suing Frontex, for the first time in the history of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, for complicity in two pushback incidents that she claims preceded her asylum. The case is co-signed by an unaccompanied minor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – who claims that he has been pushed backed to Turkey three times, where he currently remains.

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06 / 10 / 2021

How a convicted neo-Nazi attempts to regain his seat in Greek Parliament − from jail

A year after the leaders of neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, were convicted of operating a criminal organization, their influence seems to have waned. However, through his own YouTube channel, which he uses to speak unopposed, Ilias Kasidiaris is aiming to become the main spokesperson of the Far Right in Greece.

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04 / 06 / 2021

Greek strawberries “made in Bangladesh”

Up to 10,000 migrant agricultural workers live in makeshift camps in the strawberry fields of Ilia, which produce the "red gold" that generates tens of millions of euros in exports. While the Greek state remains indifferent, the number of workers is expected to increase, as production is projected to skyrocket by 2025, covering approximately 6,200 acres.

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04 / 06 / 2021

A behind-the-scenes look at Greece’s “red gold” harvest

A photo essay by Thodoris Nikolaou.

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27 / 04 / 2021

His drawing traveled to Europe. But 12-year-old Jamal simply wants to “get out of this jail”.

"I don’t want anything from you. Nor am I happy that my drawing has traveled to another place, while I'm stuck in a prison", says little Jamal from a detention center on Kos island.

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25 / 04 / 2021

Born on January 1st

An unpublished piece from earlier this year that attempts to explain a common and noticeable phenomenon that we often encounter in our coverage of refugees.

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24 / 03 / 2021

Police Violence: Concerning Treatment of Migrants and Reporters during Covid-19

A cross-border collaboration on the escalating trend of police violence against people on the move and media professionals.

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17 / 03 / 2021

“Greece will regret not making use of our potential”

As the government appoints a Deputy Minister responsible for integration, images of evicted refugees living on the streets can be seen all over Greece. "Since you don’t want us here, at least let us move on and best wishes to you all,” said the Syrian we met in Karditsa.

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05 / 03 / 2021

A fire in tent 959

A heavily pregnant Afghan woman set herself on fire, after hearing her transfer to Germany was postponed again. The act was viewed as "a cry for help" by many. The woman had been living in Lesbos' infamous camps for over a year.

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17 / 02 / 2021

Apostolos Kapsalis: “We are travelling in uncharted and stormy seas”

We sat down for a long discussion with the researcher of the Institute of Labor for the phenomenon "Manolada", the realities of migrant workers in Greece, and the challenges that the pandemic brought -and will bring- not only to the agricultural production, but the rights of the ones ensuring it.

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09 / 02 / 2021

Paul Schlag: “The improvement of the labor market integration can be a very long process”

We spoke with the German researcher Paul Ferdinand Slag on the occasion of the “An Abundance of Unleashed Potential” report on the access of refugees to the labor market.

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22 / 01 / 2021

Millions in funding at stake for refugee housing

2020 was the year the government vowed to “put NGOs in order” and millions were controversially allocated to tackle the issue. Funding was even granted to NGOs that did not meet the criteria set by the government.

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06 / 01 / 2021

“The state is very funny”

Dandom Howladar owns a mini market in central Athens. Since the pandemic hit, fewer customers shop at his store - and they don’t always have good intentions.

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11 / 12 / 2020

Converting enthusiasm into a well-rounded story

Substance abuse. Drunk boys, harming themselves, other boys, or the care workers. Smashed windows. Dead rats. Could these things have taken place in Moria?

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09 / 12 / 2020

New Publication: Impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers

It was March 2020 when Greece imposed the first lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. The country is currently in its second lockdown, which for the moment has been extended until January 7, 2021.

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07 / 12 / 2020

Moria’s “missing” migrants

When multiple fires destroyed Europe’s notorious refugee camp, it became apparent that more than 3,000 asylum seekers were missing already. While authorities remain silent regarding their whereabouts, we met some of them. We witnessed them living in limbo, working under exploitation, and being victims of brutal attacks; crossing borders to reach the “European dream” or failing to do so. We also delved into the government’s practices of fabricating the numbers.

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05 / 11 / 2020

An indisputable document reveals Moria’s horrors

When we got the news of the fire, we knew we had to return to the island.

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01 / 11 / 2020

The logbook of Moria

A logbook was found in the ashes of Europe’s most notorious refugee camp. Written by the workers that were there to protect the unaccompanied minors, but often felt incapable of doing so, its pages reveal the horrific reality that they endured. The logbook of Moria’s safe zone is an indisputable document of Europe’s failure to protect the most vulnerable group of asylum seekers that sought safety within its borders.

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16 / 10 / 2020

The questionable safety in ‘safe zones’

Theoretically, “24-hour care and emergency protection” is provided to the unaccompanied minors in the safe zones of the refugee camps. But the cases that Solomon brings to light show that reality is often far from what is expected in theory.

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13 / 10 / 2020

One month after the Moria fire, press coverage on refugees remains restricted

Press restrictions began soon after Moria camp was set up. And they have not ceased − asylum seekers in the new camp are reporting on the deplorable conditions themselves.

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24 / 09 / 2020

Labeled “immigrants”, two-thirds of Moria’s population actually have a refugee profile

The Greek government and major media outlets are presenting the victims of the fire at Moria camp as “immigrants”. However, according to our analysis, the majority will most likely be granted international protection.

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14 / 09 / 2020

Giorgos Tsiakalos: “In Europe, a racist policy is being implemented”

The Emeritus Professor of Pedagogy Giorgos Tsiakalos speaks to Solomon and analyzes in depth the racist policies of the European Union towards mobile populations.

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14 / 09 / 2020

“We are better off here, that place is like a prison”

The Greek government has been trying to relocate victims of the Moria fire to a new temporary shelter. Asylum seekers are reluctant to go there.

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12 / 09 / 2020

“The time-bomb exploded” at Greece’s largest refugee camp

Massive fires burned through Moria – repeated warnings had been made, and ignored, for years.

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07 / 07 / 2020

The grey areas on the list of the greek media outlets’ payments for COVID-19 awareness campaign

Athens Voice received more money than LIFO. The Athenian newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton only got as much as a local paper. There were 239 websites that received money although they were unregistered news outlets. The publication of the list revealed inconsistencies in the payments the media received for the coronavirus public awareness campaign "We Stay Home".

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26 / 06 / 2020

The thorn in our side: racially-motivated violence in Greece

Attacks on refugees, attacks on the LGBTQI community, police officers as aggressors. This year, the findings of an annual report by the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) are, once again, concerning.

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08 / 06 / 2020

Pushbacks: The eternal denial of the Greek government

With mounting evidence and growing allegations of illegal deportation operations along the Greek-Turkish border, the Greek government maintains “ignorance”.

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22 / 05 / 2020

“We are kind of speechless today” – Lime quits Athens, downsizes Thessaloniki’s operation

After pausing its operations in Greece amid COVID-19, Lime announced to employees it is shutting down its services in Athens.

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16 / 04 / 2020

Something’s up with Lime

The multinational company Lime, worth €2 billion, suspended its operation in Greece due to COVID-19. A months-long investigation, however, reveals that the problems began long before the pandemic.

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03 / 04 / 2020

Thousands of agricultural workers in Manolada are “staying home” – in shacks

The strawberry season has already begun, and at least 7,000 harvesters from Bangladesh are currently in Manolada. While agricultural production has decreased due to COVID-19, difficult living and working conditions raise further concerns.

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31 / 03 / 2020

Vacant houses and millions of homeless at risk

With the spread of COVID-19, citizens around the world are being asked to stay home and follow strict hygiene rules. But what about people who don't have a home?

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18 / 03 / 2020

How the Aegean islands became a warehouse of souls

It was four years ago, March 2016, when the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration to curb refugee flows was signed.

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12 / 03 / 2020

The tandoor of Moria

Afghan wood-fired ovens are an example of people's attempt to resist a regime of detention which imposes misery as normality.

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27 / 01 / 2020

The “self-taught” Greek Asylum Service

Waiting for months at a time for their applications to be considered, many asylum seekers have had negative experiences with the Greek Asylum Service. Conversely, the employees of the Asylum Service try, with every means possible, to overcome hardships which run deeper than what’s visible on the surface.

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20 / 01 / 2020

The chronicle of a dozen deaths foretold

The living conditions that asylum seekers endure at the Moria Reception and Identification Center on Lesvos have become infamous. Insiders who know about the inhospitable environment at the camp are not surprised by clashes which have turned deadly. Residents have persistently asked for more security.

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10 / 12 / 2019

How the refugee issue became a “migration crisis”

When the new government came to power in July, they completely changed the language used to discuss the refugee crisis, and most of the media conformed. We did some fact-checking to determine what has been said to date and what is actually in effect.

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22 / 11 / 2019

Manolada, where nothing has changed: Justice but also criminal sentences that can be paid off

In 2014, the Manolada case files were permanently closed in the courtrooms, but the working and living conditions of the immigrant agricultural workers in Manolada, which first "shocked" public opinion in 2006, remain the same.

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11 / 11 / 2019

Distance-hating

Can you hate someone you don't even know? Sociologists and media researchers whose work focuses on Poland, have been surprised in recent years to find that the country has one of the highest rates of Islamophobia in Europe.

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09 / 10 / 2019

The profit banks earn from the refugee crisis − in numbers

Each month, and for a certain period of time, some refugees receive a small benefit. However, from this small payment multiple beneficiaries have emerged.

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27 / 03 / 2019

Munting Nayon: An open village for the children of the world (and a nursery school for hard working parents)

A children’s day care center that began as a DIY emergency solution for Filipino immigrant parents in Greece has evolved into a unique multicultural school.

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Our Team

Iliana Papangeli

Managing Director

Iliana is a journalist and editor with a focus on migration and the environment. She has been nominated for the European Press Prize 2021 and won the IJ4EU Impact Award 2022. She has participated in several cross-border investigations and her work has been published in media across Europe. She has served as a jury at the IJ4EU Impact Award 2023 and the Evens Journalism Prize 2021. She has a background in Psychology and Social Anthropology.

Stavros Malichudis

Chief Editor

Stavros is a reporter and editor. He has worked for the Agence France-Presse and inside story, and has participated in cross-border investigations with Lighthouse Reports and Investigate Europe. He’s member of Reporters United. His reports have been published in European media. He was shortlisted for the European Press Prize ‘21 and won the IJ4EU Impact Award ‘22. In 2019 he was selected as a fellow for BIRN's Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence (BFJE). He has been trained in data journalism at Columbia University in New York on a fellowship.

Corina Petridi

Journalist & data editor

Corina is a journalist and data editor at Solomon. She has worked with VICE Greece, Reporters United, and Balkan investigative network BIRN. She has studied Political Science. In 2019, she won a scholarship to Columbia Journalism School's Lede Program on coding, data analysis, and visual storytelling. She has reported on migration, real estate, data privacy and gender.

Aristea Protonotariou

Administrator

Aristea was born in 1994 and grew up on Kythira island, Greece. Her studies are in Journalism and Archives, Librarianship & Information Science. She was trained in Multimedia Journalism as an SNF scholar in Columbia University, NY. She holds an MA in Risk Communication and Crisis Journalism. Aristea is the founder of the “Migratory Birds”, the first newspaper in Greece made by and for refugee, migrant and Greek youth.

Apostolis Fotiadis

Researcher/journalist

Apostolis covers EU policy issues including developments in population movement, security and defence, privacy and big data policies. In the past, he has co-operated with many international media outlets and organisations. He has authored numerous reports, published two books on EU migration and border control policies and has been a member of numerous cross-border investigations. He currently co-operates with investigative outlet Solomon and also works as a freelance researcher.

Danai Maragoudaki

Journalist

Danai started working as a journalist in 2015. She has worked for several Greek media like inside story, VICE, and capital.gr. She is also a member of the investigative team The Manifold and the production team Paola Team Documentaries. Her reporting focuses on transparency and economics, technology, gender and LGBTQ+ rights. She has studied political science and translation.

Gigi Papoulias

English editor

Gigi was raised in the US, a daughter of Greek immigrants. She graduated from Boston College with a concentration in Education and Modern Greek Studies. As a grant recipient at the University of Athens, she completed further coursework in Greek Studies. In her professional background, Gigi has provided writing, editing, translation and content development services to media and academic sectors, publishing companies and multinational corporations. She’s also taught at a multicultural kindergarten, worked in a restaurant kitchen, interpreted for immigration services at a US airport, sold t-shirts in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, and led meditation & mindfulness classes at a women’s center.

Galatia Iatraki

Illustrator

Galatia creates illustrations for Solomon's stories. She studied and worked in Thessaloniki, the Netherlands and Crete in the field of information technology and multimedia. She has attended photography and archival practices seminars. Through photography and collage, she explores topics about contemporary social issues. She is currently based in Athens.

Nasruddin Nizami

Board member

Nasruddin is a board member and migration expert. He was born in Afghanistan and raised in Pakistan. He has worked as an interpreter, cultural mediator and case worker with IOM. He is a current board member of the Greek Council for Refugees. He has a degree in English Studies at Deree, the American College of Greece.