2013 Neo Irakleio Golden Dawn office shooting
|2013 Neo Irakleio Golden Dawn office shooting|
|Location||Neo Irakleio, Athens, Greece|
|Date||1 November 2013 (CET)|
|Drive-by shooting, assassination|
The attack at the Neo Irakleio Golden Dawn office took place on November 1, 2013 outside the offices of the political party in Neo Irakleio in Athens. As a result, Manolis Kapelonis and Giorgos Fountoulis, two members of the political party of Golden Dawn, were murdered and a third one, Alexandros Gerondas, was wounded from shootings. As of November 2013[update], the anti-terrorism branch of the Greek police is still investigating the incident.
The events of the murders
On 1 November 2013, Golden Dawn members Giorgos Fountoulis and Manos Kapelonis were shot dead outside the party's offices in Neo Irakleio, a northern suburb of Athens. A third one, Alexandros Gerontas, was severely injured. According to a Golden Dawn member, a man got off a motorcycle wearing a helmet and then fired. Police described the event as a "terrorist attack". Golden Dawn claimed that police protection of the building had been withdrawn shortly before the attack. Two weeks later, the previously unknown "anti-establishment" group "The Fighting People's Revolutionary" Powers claimed responsibility for what it described characterized them as "political executions of the fascist members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party".
Background of the victims
Manolis or Manos Kapelonis (Greek: Μανώλης or Μάνος Καπελώνης) was 22 years old, lived in Galatsi and had studied at the Athens Hellenic College. His father has served as president of the Association of Civil Government, before 2010 and is now president in Public Construction Medical Institutions. The offices of the Local Organisation Northern Suburbs opened every Monday and Friday afternoon. He was among the most active part of the ideological faction. There deputies and officers often made speeches, and their chief texts and the parliamentary candidate in Boeotia often appeared on the official website of the Golden Dawn. His funeral took place on November 4, 2013, at the Church of Ipapanti in Artemida, with the discreet presence of the Police, without media coverage, upon his family request.
Giorgos or Yiorgos Fountoulis (Greek: Γιώργος Φουντούλης) was 27 years old, lived in Neo Irakleio and had studied physiotherapy. He had friends in Golden Dawn and took part in its events and activities, distributing leaflets with Manolis Kapelonis. He helped out as a security guard at the offices of Golden Dawn of the Local Organisation Northern Suburbs, and also with Golden Dawn's on-call safeguarding service for OAP's who asked for protection when shopping or collecting their pensions. He was a member for at least one year in Golden Dawn. He was also one of the keenest members in the Local Organisation Northern suburbs but was not at a high level of Golden Dawn in security matters. His father worked at the post office. The funeral of Giorgos Fountoulis took place on November 4, 2013, at the Church of St. Georgios in Irakleio. Hundreds of people said goodbye to him shouting "He Lives Forever" and singing the Greek National Anthem while holding Greek flags.
Reactions to the murders
The government, through its spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, made the following statement for the double murder: "The killers, whoever they may be, will be dealt with ruthlessly by democracy, justice and the united Greek society. Let everyone know".
Political parties condemned the assassination. The murder of the two members hit the headlines and became the first topic on the global networks in Greece and around the world. The party of Golden Dawn issued an announcement after the assassination blaming the government and the media for the murders, further accusing the government of Antonis Samaras for failing to deal effectively with terrorism while the anti-terrorist branch of the Greek police was investigating Golden Dawn for criminal offenses instead.
In December 2013, the government of Greece offered a reward of 1 million Euros, to anyone who would provide information that would lead to the capture of the murderers of Manolis Kapelonis and Giorgos Fountoulis.
Golden Dawn commemorated thrice in memory of Kapelonis and Fountoulis of the Golden Dawn attended by MP Members and Greek citizens. Commemorations and marches of people holding candles and torches, also took place in countries like Serbia Italy and Spain, and in cities like Rome, Milan, Madrid. Supporters of football teams Radnički Niš Hellas Verona and Lazio hung banners during the group match with slogans in support of the two victims. Golden Dawn also conducted actions including food distribution, donations and marches in the memory of the pair.
Claim of responsibility and reactions
On the 16 November Zougla announced that an unknown person contacted the station informing them the area where an envelope which contained a USB stick was placed; and that the digital proclamation was stored on it. Zougla uploaded the proclamation online, in which a newly found organization, The Fighting People's Revolutionary Powers, claimed the responsibility for the attack. The proclamation stated that the murders were seen by the group as retaliation for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. Following the proclamation, Golden Dawn stated that "the miserable and stupid manifesto of the cowardly murderers proves that they belong to the criminal ideological womb of the far left".
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