The murder of Pavlos Fyssas

Shortly after midnight on 18 September 2013, Pavlos Fyssas, a young Greek anti-fascist rapper, was murdered in his home neighbourhood of Keratsini, Athens. Both the killer and others who participated in the attack were members of the neo-Nazi organisation Golden Dawn.

Golden Dawn have committed acts of violence against migrants and political opponents ever since their formation in the 1980s, yet most of their crimes going unpunished as a result of the silent support among the ranks of the Greek police, aligned to their nationalist cause. Following the murder of Fyssas, a Greek citizen, the national government was finally forced to make a series of arrests. Sixty-nine members of Golden Dawn, including all of their fifteen parliamentarians, were brought to trial. Charges in the trial, relating to events as far back as 2008, allege that even while holding seats in the national parliament, Golden Dawn operated as a criminal organisation. Even as the ongoing trial threatens the existence of Golden Dawn as a political party, the Greek courts remain reluctant to investigate the role of the police in covering up these crimes.

Forensic Architecture was commissioned by the Fyssas family and their legal representatives to reconstruct the events of the night from the audio and video material made available to the court. The resulting video investigation and accompanying report, presented to the Athens courtroom on 10 and 11 September 2018, brings together CCTV footage, recordings of communications between police and emergency services, and witness testimony. We established a precise timeline and reconstruction of the events that led to the murder.

The investigation established that members of Golden Dawn, including senior officials, acted in a co-ordinated manner in relation to the murder, and that members of Greece’s elite special forces police, known as DIAS, were present at the scene before, during and after the murder, and failed to intervene.

Methodology

Much of the original audio and video material was without an accurate timestamp, and it became apparent that attempts by the Greek police investigators to address this problem were insufficient. As a result, our researchers had to assess the material from scratch, and deduce the correct time and location of each piece of footage.

Audio recordings were assembled into a timed sequence through a process of sound analysis. CCTV footage from various locations around the scene was synchronised and given an accurate timestamp by reference to the sequence of audio recordings.

Forensic Architecture team

Christina Varvia (Project Lead)

Stefanos Levidis (Project Coordinator)

Simone Rowat (Video Research and Production)

Sofia Georgovassili

Fivos Avgerinos

Dorette Panagiotopoulou

Nicholas Masterton

Stefan Laxness

Robert Trafford

Sarah Nankivell

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Sound analysis advisor)

Shakeeb Abu Hamdan (Sound analysis advisor)

Eyal Weizman (Advisor)

Collaborators

Co-produced by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht

Press

Οι κρίσιμες στιγμές τη νύχτα της δολοφονίας του Παύλου Φύσσα (The Critical Moments of the Night of the Murder of Pavlos Fyssas) | Kathimerini, 14 September 2018

Καρέ καρέ η δολοφονία Φύσσα (Frame by frame, the murder of Fyssas) | Efsyn.gr, 11 September 2018

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