I could see it in their eyes, how they put all their hopes in him. Not even in their faces, half hidden by their masks, but the way they were staring at Javed, waiting for a response for all their fears, was revealing. When we first went inside the Union of Immigrants near Omonia, in Athens, Javed Aslam, the president of the Pakistan Community in Greece, was having a meeting with four Pakistani immigrants. His phone didn’t stop ringing during all morning, and he was trying to cope with it as he could.
We then understood that Javed is a busy person, but as he told us later in the interview, “a light in the middle of the darkness”. He has been the president of the Pakistan Community for 15 years now, and a key witness during the trial of Golden Dawn in Greece.
The investigators of the case could not believe all the notes he had with him: four entire books. We did not get what all those notes meant, they were written in Urdu, English and Greek. Sadly, although fortunately, those documents included the name of victims of Golden Dawn, the places where the attacks took place, and other information. It was like a pearl, a treasure that could bring some hope for a never-ending trial against the neo-Nazi organization in Greece.
“ΔΕΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΘΩΟΙ – They are not innocent” tries to wrap in 28 minutes the story behind the trial of the former political party of Golden Dawn, whose members were sitting in the Greek Parliament since 2012 until 2019. Now they are convicted criminals, and 35 of them are in jail facing up to 13 years of imprisonment.
This report is explained from two perspectives. First of all, it takes the sight of two important witnesses, Javed Aslam and Lefteris Pappagiannakis, and also includes the view of two experts.
Javed Aslam was a witness during the five year and a half trial, and he becomes a thread that guides the viewer throughout the story from a humanistic point of view. His books became a powerful tool for the court, and they represent all the stories that were never told, all the non-Greek people that were attacked and intimidated by the criminals.
Secondly, Lefteris Papagiannakis embodies the civil society, as he was one of the creators of Golden Dawn Watch. The Watch is an initiative that was born to share on digital media what was going on inside the courtroom in every single session, as mainstream media was not covering the whole trial.
But, what does this verdict really mean? Which is the future of Golden Dawn and neo-Nazis now? These concerns are responded by Daphne Halikiopoulou, a professor at the University of Reading in the UK, who has been following Golden Dawn since it’s rise, and Aris Chatzistefanou, a journalist expert on far-right movements, who also produced previous documentaries about fascism.
All in all, this video report sheds some light on the process that took place in the courtroom of Athens since the trial started in 2015, but specially focuses on the future of this organization and ideology. Now the Greek society has the legal framework to avoid these kinds of movements reach the power again, but the narrative, the ideas, are still there. It is a triumph for Greek Democracy, indeed, but we all need to remain vigilant not to allow these type of extremisms to rise again.
You can now watch the documentary with English, Spanish and Greek subtitles. And please share it on your social media!