A Greek court has exonerated four police officers involved in the brutal death of an LGBTQ activist in Athens.
The court found two other men guilty of participating in the killing of Zak Kostopoulos, but the four police officers - who were also accused of causing fatal bodily harm - were allowed to walk free.
Human Rights groups are pointing to the case an example of the use of unncessary force by authorities going unpunished, reflecting a culture of police impunity.
Kostopoulos - a prominent queer campaigner - was beaten to death in broad daylight in 2018. The precise circumstances of what happened seem unclear - Kostopoulos was apparently seeking refuge from unknown assailants and entered a jewellery store. The owner of the jewellery store and another man then violently attacked him.
Footage from security cameras and phones showed police violently attempting to arrest Kostopoulos as he lay dying on the ground. The 33-year-old died from his injuries before emergency workers could take him to hospital.
All six defendants were accused of inflicting fatal bodily harm. The two men who were not police officers were convicted, but the police officers were not.
What's life like for LGBTQ people in Greece?
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Greece? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.
Is homosexuality legal in Greece?
Yes. Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 1951.
The age-of-consent was equalised in 2015.
Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people?
Yes. Comprehensive anti-discrimination protections were implemented in 2005.
Is there Marriage Equality in Greece?
No. Same-sex relationships have been legally recognised since 2015.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Greece?
In general, Greece is a pretty good part of the world for LGBTQ people.
There is a vibrant and visible LGBTQ community – particularly in Athens and on some of the islands.
The family of Kostopoulos may seek an appeal of the decision.