Picture Credit: CEN
A journalist is taking legal action against anti-refugee activists who targeted her for highlighting the story of a nine-year-old girl who was attacked for wearing a headscarf.
Anthi Pazianou, who writes for papers on the Greek island of Lesbos, wrote that far-right extremists had attacked the girl in a churchyard after mistaking her for a migrant.
They reportedly thought the local girl, from the town of Gera, was a Muslim because of her headscarf when in fact she was wearing it for medical reasons.
Police were called to the scene and the attackers apologised to the mother of the child who decided not to file a complaint against them.
Ms Pazianou, a journalist with the ‘Embros’ and ‘I Kathimerini’ newspapers on the island, reportedly offended the group by reporting the story.
It led to Ms Pazianou, who is the mother of a three-year-old child, becoming the victim of personal attacks on social media, according to reports.
A photo of Ms Pazianou with migrants at the island’s Moria refugee camp was featured on a Facebook group page, along with offensive messages.
Ms Pazianou commented: “This far-right and hideous attack is purely sexist and repeats what is being said about professional journalists on the island of Lesbos.”
She has filed a lawsuit against four individuals, three men and a woman, and requested they be taken into custody. Two of the four were arrested but later freed.
The administrator of the Facebook page has not been named but is said to be a merchant and former member of the Greek navy from Gera town.
Members of the Facebook group have reportedly made posts calling for patrols to drive immigrants and asylum seekers off the island.
However, they do not describe themselves as a far-right group but as frustrated citizens who see their island being overrun by refugees.
Lesbos lies close to the Turkish coast and is a major stepping stone for refugees from countries, such as war-torn Syria, heading for mainland Europe.