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Zak Kostopoulos, a queer activist and human rights defender in Greece, died on 21 September 2018 following a violent attack. Zak, also known by his drag stage name Zackie Oh, was a tireless defender of the rights of LGBTI people and HIV-positive persons.

Video footage by eyewitnesses shows that Zak was brutally beaten up by two men after entering a jewelry shop in central Athens. Footage also shows police arriving and violently attempting to arrest Zak who was dying on the ground. The video shows an officer forcefully driving his leg into his neck and another kicking him with equal force. According to the forensic report, Zak died from the multiple injuries he sustained.

Zak’s tragic death has devastated his family, friends and the wider human rights community in Greece and beyond. Demonstrations asking for justice for his death have taken place in many European countries.

While an investigation is ongoing, many are concerned about flaws and delays in the investigation into his death as well as persistent systemic failings in investigations concerning cases of police violence in Greece.

Zak’s killing and the initial reporting of the case, filled with stigmatizing remarks and the reproduction of fake news, revealed the deep prejudice that exists in parts of society. This must not be tolerated. If we unite, we can get justice for Zak and his loved ones.

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition


Michalis Kalogirou, Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
Olga Gerovasili, Minister of Citizen’s Protection

Dear Minister / Dear Minister,

I call on you to ensure that the criminal investigation into the attack against Zak Kostopoulos is prompt, independent, impartial and effective and to take all reasonable steps to secure evidence.

I also call on you to investigate what appears to be arbitrary or abusive use of force by police and possible police responsibility for Zak’s death, that the investigations are prompt, impartial, independent and effective, and that any police officers reasonably suspected of committing criminal acts are brought to justice.

Please also take all reasonable action to ascertain whether a hate motive based on a perceived personal characteristic played a role in the attack. The investigations into police conduct must address whether any prejudice played a role in the apparent use of force.

Yours Sincerely,

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