Friday, October 3, 2008

the story is getting out there

I've just learned that, based on the article that appeared in The Gazette, a socialist MP in Greece has tabled a question to the Greek Parliament. The Google translation:

Interior Minister
Minister of Justice
Foreign Minister

SUBJECT: Denial of Canadian assistance to state agencies

The Canadian newspaper "The Gazette" in an article on 25.9.2008 describes the test suffered by the Greek authorities a Canadian, alleged rape victim who decided to return to Greece in order to testify at the trial of the alleged aggressor.

The Greek Consulate in Montreal has ignored its repeated requests for help and the woman was forced to pay at its own expense its flight and then suffered endless bureaucracy to the costs paid by the Greek judicial system. To cut costs arranged to stay with relatives while to understand what is happening in the proceedings must recruit its own translator, whose costs offered to cover the Canadian Embassy in Athens.

Asked the responsible ministers:

1. Why the competent government departments refused to provide the appropriate help?
2. If you intend to take action and what?

Also, the case became part of a big OSCE Human Dimension meeting in Warsaw. I have to admit, I'm floored. And so grateful for the help I'm getting from the GHM.

I'm balancing keeping the faith with not getting my hopes up. It takes practice. In the meantime, happy weekend and thank you for even more messages of support in the last few days. How could I not feel good and proud about going public with all this when it's resulted in this much positivity and awareness already?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

a picture that will last longer

According to the Canadian Embassy in Athens, yesterday, October 1st at 9am, the judges, Aristovoulos and his lawyer were all present in the courtroom. But, as the clerk was not, the hearing was postponed.

It is beyond words how frustrating it is to think that the trial would have gone ahead yesterday... that by today, this could all have been over. According to the embassy, "The judge announced that parties involved are going to be subpoenaed again but no further information was provided regarding the new hearing date."

While the contact at the embassy was unable to take a photo of Aristovoulos, she gave me this description:


Panayote Dimitras of the Greek-Helsinki Monitor is in the process of getting access to the file on this case so that I can finally see a photo of this man - something I've been begging for since spring 2007. Once I do, you can bet I will post it here.

A few media updates:

For any Greek-speakers out there, Mr. Dimitras of the GHM did this interview with a Peloponnese radio station. Apparently the interview is near the end.

Again, for Greek-speakers (and readers), this article came out in a Greek paper, Kathimerini, yesterday.

If you want a translation you CAN put it into Google translator... it's far from precise (actually, it's good for a laugh) but you'll get the general gist.

A non-Greek blogger (from what I understand) living in Greece is doing an absolutely amazing job at following Greek human rights issues in general. She did a post on her blog about the trial, but also please check out her series on the Roma (or as we know them, Gypsy) settlement in Athens... it is truly eye-opening. I am learning more and more about what's going on in what is supposedly a first world country.

Finally, if you missed seeing the full 25-minute CBC interview, you can see it here.

I did another interview today with a paper called Eleftheros Tipos. I will let you know when it's out. Both papers asked for my photograph (ironically. I wonder if they'll publish his, too?) and while I am so grateful for this coverage and the awareness it's raising, I have to admit it that having my photo printed in newspapers in Greece makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. I sent them a photo I took of myself on my last "mini-journey" in Europe - almost a year after what happened in Athens. I was living in London, and took a cheap flight to Verona, Italy. I was alone, stayed in a nunnery for three days, ate gelato, went to churches and shoe stores, and felt insanely grateful to be alive. That trip is one of my best memories. And no matter who sees this photo, I refuse to let that change.

To all women travelers out there: I wish you protection and vigilance... and pray that one day we can all journey solo, without fear.