Legal action threatened against Volos blogger for “disseminating false information”

According to the local newspaper of Magnesia province, Greece, Tachydromos, legal action has been initiated against a local teacher in the city of Volos for “disseminating false information” via Internet.

The newspaper claims: 1)  that an investigation has been launched by police and the public prosecutor in the town of Veria, 2) that the Ministry of Education has been notified, and 3) that  an administrative inquiry by the Magnesia Secondary Education Directorate is expected to commence in the following days, “or has already commenced”.

According to the “Tachydromos” report, the teacher in question runs a website  “hosting articles that list reasons why parents should not have their children vaccinated, articles on climate change and ‘even on aerial spraying’”, which prompted “a citizen” to take out a lawsuit charging her with “disseminating false information”. The plaintiff also notified the Education Ministry “because the accused is a teacher and her implication in a penal issue entails administrative sanctions”.

The newspaper continues that this teacher’s website “hosts dozens of articles and comments against vaccinations for children, including a study asserting that ‘vaccines inject infections into our children and that certain vaccines are even responsible for specific epidemics’”.

No names are currently being mentioned, so no names will be mentioned in this article either. The point is simply made that “the dossier on the case is already in the hands of the relevant authorities.”

Though from a legal viewpoint the accused would seem to have a right to assert his/her right to “freedom of speech”, this is not all that is involved. Every scoundrel, after all, can claim to be exercising a right to freedom of speech. In this particular case, after the Greek public’s experience with the 2009 swine flu scare, not to mention the extensive public discussion of clandestine aerial spraying, including in the Cyprus Parliament, and in the European Parliament, whose Committee on Petitions resolved in March 2014 that  “the issues which you raise are admissible in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, insofar as the subject matter falls within the sphere of activities of the European Union”, there seems to be a strong argument for saying that it is the accusers of this Volos teacher who should be in the dock for disseminating false information, or rather scurrilous innuendo, because no information has been provided by them.

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Wayne Hall
convenor of “Enouranois” website