Protests At Greek Consulate Over Queer Activist Beaten To Death

Zak Kostopoulos, a prominent LGBT+ activist, was kicked to death by two men in broad daylight.

A photo of Zak Kostopoulos whose death caused protests

The Greek consulate in Melbourne was the scene of protests by a group furious that not enough movement has been made by authorities on the death of Zak Kostopoulos. Kostopoulos was beaten to death in broad daylight in front of onlookers.

Although the original incident took place in Greece, this protest was at the Greek consulate in Melbourne. Melbourne has the biggest Greek population outside of Greece itself. A spokesperson for the group said: “Despite the CCTV footage exposing major flaws in their story, the Greek police with the assistance of the news media still persisted in trying to portray Zak’s attackers as helpless store owners trying to protect their property and to frame Zak as a violent, drug addicted thief, therefore deserving of his death.”

This was in regard to original news reports stating Kostopoulos had died in an accident following an alleged attempted robbery of a jewellery shop. However others reported Kostopoulos had entered the jewellery shop in order to seek protection from a fight happening on the street. He then became trapped inside the shop once the security door closed automatically.

Hugh Lane

What was undeniable was the vicious and violent footage since shared online showing a prolonged and brutal attack as Kostopoulos tried to crawl out of the shop, the owners repeatedly kicking him and beating him as onlookers stood watching. Even after paramedics arrived, a dazed and defenceless Kostopoulos tries to flee, falling over a table before being beaten with police batons. While some may argue the reasons why Kostopoulos was inside the store, was it reason enough to be beaten to death?

At the Melbourne protests, security refused entry into the consulate. The group’s statement continued: “Zak’s murder is just the latest in a series of killings of young radicals in Greece where the State, the police and the media have all acted in complicity with the murderers.”

While the men who beat Kostopoulos were charged with bodily harm leading to death, there have beens calls from prosecutors to treat the case as a possible hate crime. The muted reaction from police and other authorities has also been called into question.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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