See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Anti-fascist Musician Stabbed to Death by Neo-nazi in Greece

Greek Rapper Pavlos Fyssas, also known as Killah P. Photo via Greek Wikipedia

Greek anti-fascist hip hop musician Pavlos Fyssas, also known as Killah P., was stabbed to death on Wednesday, 18 September 2013, by a neonazi and Golden Dawn party supporter who confessed his crime after being arrested on the same day.

According to eyewitnesses, a few hours after midnight on the 18th, a group of 30 men wearing black T-shirts and military boots, attacked 34-year-old Fyssas and 7 of his friends near a coffee shop at Amfiali, Keratsini, a district of Athens, where he was watching a football match with his girlfriend.

A man, said to have driven to the scene after answering a phone call by members of the mob, stabbed Fyssas twice, aiming for his heart. He was later recognized by witnesses as one of Piraeus’ most notorious neonazis. Fyssas pointed at his murderer [el], and possibly identified him, before expiring in hospital, several hours later. According to the victim's father, doctors opined (video, el) that the stabbing was professionally executed. It is believed that the attack was a pre-arranged ambush, given the musician's stated opposition to the Golden Dawn party. Golden Dawn itself denied any connection to the perpetrator or the murder, despite evidence and testimonies pointing to the contrary.

Journalist Leonidas Saklabanis tweeted an eyewitness testimony:

Eyewitness (Fyssas’ friend): They stabbed him twice because they couldn't take him down. They wore black T-shirts.

Blogger and twitter user Monahus pointed out:

According to Fyssas’ father, some people heard them talking about Golden Dawnists and called the others that ambushed him afterwards.

Eyewitnesses also claimed that they pleaded with police officers present to interfere, but they declined because the attackers were “too many”. London-based Greek journalist Yannis Baboulias added:

Deputy editor of Greece's daily English language newspaper, Kathimerini English Edition (@ekathimerini) Nick Malkoutzis commented:

Initially, mainstream media latched on to the football quarrel-rhetoric, making the murder seem not premeditated and with no political motives:

The 45-year old self-confessed murderer initially told the police that he was already at the coffee shop where the victim was sitting with his friends, that they attacked him as he was heading back to his car, and that he was forced to stab the victim in self-defense. He also denied being a member of Golden Dawn, claiming a “loose” association with the neo-nazi party.

However, his allegations were incoherent and contradicted the statement that his wife gave to the police. She stated that during the football match, her husband was at home when he received a phone call by a stranger and rushed out, and later admitted being told to dispose of “political literature” and assorted incriminating evidence in a followup phone call:

According to a friend of the perpetrator [el], he was not only a Golden Dawn supporter, but he and members of his family also worked at the party's offices. The perpetrator is being investigated by the police for performing violent acts on the party's behalf, such as beating up immigrants around Piraeus. His wife and a friend of his, also working for Golden Dawn, were both arrested for providing false testimonies and attempting to eliminate evidence from the perpetrator's apartment.

Apostolis Kaparoudakis, co-founder of the independent web radio radiobubblequoted a news article:

TVXS: “The killer was being paid by Golden Dawn to beat up immigrants” http://bit.ly/18y8zm1 #rbnews #massmedia #KillahP

and blogger alepouda added:

According to the police spokesperson, the perpetrator was visiting G.D's local offices 5 to 6 times a week. #KillahP

Besides the testimonies, there are several Golden Dawn photos and videos on YouTube, where the perpetrator can be spotted participating in the party's events or outings, such as the infamous only-for-Greeks food and clothes hand-outs.

Pavlos Fyssas, the victim, was a well-known and loved underground hip hop artist, his songs and actions reflecting of his independent anti-fascist and anti-racist spirit:

Eyewitness: “Neither I, nor Pavlos belong to any political party. They are looking for victims”.

The Editors’ Newspaper [el] attested:

Killah P, [meant] “Killer of the Past”. [..] [Pavlos] hailed from a working family, was an avowed anti-fascist, beloved in his neighborhood and known to the Greek hip hop scene. [..] ”Of course he was an active anti-fascist. Just listen to his lyrics,” explained a neighbor. The mother of a good friend of his confirmed that “he wasn't a member of any party, but he was politically active in his own way. Do not doubt for one second: It was a politically motivated murder.” “He always fought for his beliefs,” said a shop owner, near the scene of his murder.

The news spread like wildfire on Twitter, as incensed netizens started tweeting and posting about the murder, pointing to Golden Dawn for moral responsibility:

How come [Golden Dawn press officer] Kasidiaris is on every TV channel commenting and hasn't been arrested yet for abetting? #animals

Many Twitter users kept reminding others that immigrants were Golden Dawn's first victims. Vasilis Papageorgiou wrote:

He wasn't the first one killed. Not unless we consider the immigrants murdered by Golden Dawn as non-humans.

Accordingly, blogger Anthony Verias pointed to a map of racist attacks in Greece: 

Thessaloniki-based alternative news site Alterthess reminded of doctors’ unheeded warnings about assaults against immigrants:

Nikaia hospital neurosurgeon: 3 years now we are yelling about dozens of racist attacks http://dlvr.it/3zxDsF [el]

Amnesty International condemned the murder of the anti-fascist activist, and exhorted the Greek government to prevent further politically motivated extremist violence:

This surge in xenophobia, intolerance and politically motivated attacks in Greece is truly chilling – the authorities must act now to prevent such violence from spreading before it gets out of hand

Global Voices editor and author Asteris Masouras created a storify on this subject, and contributed to this report.

The following is one of Killah P's songs with subtitles in English, a hip hop remix of a well known song by Greek rock band Trypes which became an anti-fascist anthem against fear, eerily apposite to his fight and final fate.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site