Reporters covering the assassination of Greek gangster Vassilis Stefanakos on Wednesday complained that they became target of attacks by ‘individuals’ they alleged they were affiliated with the victim. In a statement issued on Thursday, the Athens Journalists Union (ESIEA) denounced the attacks towards journalists, technicians and citizens, who approached the area. “Certain people, allegedly associated with the victim, viciously attacked our colleagues, while the police who were present did not act, but stayed still and watched,” reads the statement. “These were not isolated attacks, but they were increasing with the passing of time, creating conditions of extreme adversity for our colleagues and for the citizens who were coming to the place.”

One reporter said that some individuals were standing in row, isolating the crime scene and preventing people from approaching. When they were confronted, they resorted to violence, which led to one cameraman having to be transferred to the hospital. “The stance of the Police is unacceptable,” continues the statement. “We demand from the Minister of Citizen Protection to conduct and immediate audit, in order to find who are responsible for this and provide answers for all these unprecedented events.”

The Union’s statement stresses that “Greek journalists fear nobody. They have proven that they can do their work under the harshest circumstances and that they defy bullies and organised gangs.”

Stefanakos was assassinated in the Western suburb of Haidari, where he lived, at 7pm, Wednesday night. He had been released from jail in 2016, after serving nine years of his 21 year sentence – he was convicted for accessory to murder, extortion, and organising the break out of criminals Alket Rizai and Vassilis Palaiokostas, from Korydallos prison, among other offenses. Since his release, he had been operating a used car lot.  The perpetrators are said to have approached his car, riding on a motorcycle and fired 22 bullets with a Kalashnikov.