Sputnik stringer Kostis Dadamis has been taken to hospital after receiving a head injury while covering the rally against the Prespa Agreement, the June 2018 treaty between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which agreed to rename the latter country as the 'Republic of North Macedonia'.
Dadamis suffered a blow to the head, and had his camera equipment stolen, Sputnik Greece reported. His attackers' identities remain unknown.
Preliminary reports suggest Dadamis was approached by two or three individuals who demanded that he give them his camera. The journalist refused, prompting the assailants to chase after him and other photographers who stepped in to help. Eventually, Dadamis and the other journalists were surrounded by a mob and attacked.
Media have published images of Dadamis from the scene shortly after he received his injuries.
Kostis Ntantamis Freelance Photographer. Τον τραβηξαν συναδελφοι απο τα χερια φασισταριων χρυσαυγιτων που συμμετειχαν στην διαμαρτυρια στο Συνταγμα. Μεταφερθηκε στο νοσοκομειο. Και δεν ειναι ο μονος. Κοινοι δολοφονοι. pic.twitter.com/efWidtTpgH— George Tsakiris (@GiorgosTsakiris) January 20, 2019
At least one other photo journalist has been reported injured in the protests, which turned violent as demonstrators clashed with riot police near Greece's parliament.
Dadamis is in hospital, getting an x-ray on his head to determine the seriousness of his injury. He has been in contact with colleagues, as well as his brother.
Riot police equipped with shields and truncheons launched volleys of tear gas into the crowd as dozens of violent protestors threw rocks, firebombs, paint, and other objects at police and the parliament building.
The Prespa Agreement, which will allow Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO as Greece removes its veto on membership in the organisations, has faced criticism in both Greece and Macedonia. Some Greeks believe that the name 'Macedonian' should be reserved exclusively for those who live in the Greek region of Macedonia, referring to use of the word going back to the Ancient Greek period. Some in Skopje, meanwhile, see the name change as a blow to the country's national identity.