Greek National Intelligence Service spying on Solomon: Does our journalism threaten national security?

by | Nov 15, 2021 | Our News

Greece’s central intelligence agency targeting the work of Solomon… What’s going on?

In a revealing report by Dimitris Terzis in this Saturday’s newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton, (or EFSYN) we found that Solomon is being monitored by the national intelligence service (EYP, or ΕΥΠ in Greek).

Specifically, in an official EYP briefing which requests information, Solomon and our colleague Stavros Malichudis are cited by name, mentioning that EYP had information “from a highly reliable source” regarding a report that Solomon was preparing. In order to protect the anonymity of the citizens under surveillance, the colleagues at newspaper EFSYN have blacked out the names listed in the official briefing. We can confirm that this particular request for information is about us.

The official EYP briefing which requests information cites Solomon and our colleague by name, mentioning that EYP had information “from a highly reliable source” regarding a report that Solomon was preparing.

We published the report in question on April 27, 2021. It tells the story of a 12-year-old boy from Syria named Jamal, who lived for months with his family in administrative detention on Kos. One of his drawings made the front page of the French newspaper Le Monde. Jamal’s drawing had been chosen and was exhibited at the MuCEM in Marseilles (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean), while he remained in custody. When the 12-year-old was told his drawing would be exhibited in France he said, “I’m just drawing what the conditions here are like, and I will continue to draw what I see, that I’m in a prison.”

Why is EYP so interested in Solomon’s work? Why is EYP trying to find out what reports we’re working on? And, even more so, how exactly does EYP know what topics we are investigating and know about the sources are we talking to?

EYP, which now reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, is an agency which ensures national security. During a press briefing on November 15, 2021, when asked to respond to the revelations published by EFSYN, the government spokesman stated that EYP “performs an important role in terms of threats to our national security, threats to the security of citizens, for the safe function of civil society.”

Is journalism a threat to our democracy and society?

Solomon’s team conducts investigative journalism on refugee issues, and has gained European-wide recognition for its work. A report that we have co-authored with Reporters United & Investigate Europe was nominated for the 2021 European Press Prize.

Solomon collaborates with organizations and Media in Greece and abroad. We participate in international conferences, in European journalism networks, and collaborate with Greek universities. Solomon organizes journalism seminars for young journalists and refugees.

How exactly are these activities, carried out in full transparency, a threat to the safety of citizens?

One can easily find our address, the bios of our team members, the way we work, and our sources of funding. We do not hide anything, but nevertheless, we find ourselves being targeted, without knowing the reason why.

The Solomon team will initiate standard procedures to defend the rights of its members. We will do everything we can, to the fullest extent of the law, to protect our privacy, as well as that of the people who trust us with information. And for the content of our research to become known when it is published – not beforehand, or in an indirect way.

In which system of government does the state record the movements of journalists?

Is there anything you would like to share with us on the story you’ve just read? Feel free to contact Solomon team at [email protected] or via WhatsApp / Signal at +30 698 503 6691

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