Gregoris Lambrakis (03/04/1912 - 27/05/1963)

Gregoris Lambrakis Gregoris Lambrakis was a doctor, athlete and politician that was murdered by parastatals. This caused international outrage for the policies of the government of Konstantinos Karamanlis and the Security Forces.

He was born in the town of Kerasitsa, Arcadia, and was the 14th of a total of 18 siblings. He studied medicine at University of Athens and specialized in gynecology. He was an athlete and had a number of victories in national and Balkan contests; he held the Greek record at long jump for 23 years, until 1959. In 1950, he became a professor of Obstetrics – Gynecology at University of Athens.

In the elections of 1961, Lambrakis was elected member of the parliament under the Unified Democratic Left (EDA). He was also a founding member and vice president of the “Greek Committee for International Recession and Peace”. In April 1963, he organized the 1st Peace Marathon, amidst threats. In fact, he ran on his own for the most part, before being arrested and held in custody for a few hours. Afterwards, he went to London to support the Greeks, Cypriots and British protesters, who demanded the liberation of political prisoners in Greece; target of this protest was Queen Frederica of Greece, who at the time was in London for a royal wedding.

In May 1963, Lambrakis went to Thessaloniki to participate in an event organized by the “Committee for International Recession and Peace”. Before the event started, the nearby area was full of parastatals, shouting against those that had arrived to participate in the event. There were also policemen who did not try to control the crowd, despite the protests of the organizing committee and Lambrakis himself, who was a member of the parliament. After the event, policemen prevented the attendees from exiting the building. Lambrakis left for his hotel; at that moment, despite the fact that all roads had been blocked by the police, a speeding tricycle appeared and injured Lambrakis. None of the policemen tried stopping or pursuing the tricycle, or help dying Lambrakis, who had also received a grave blow with a metallic object on his head. Nevertheless, a bystander managed to hop on the tricycle and neutralize the passenger of the tricycle. Eventually, he also neutralized the driver of the vehicle.

Lambrakis was transferred to the hospital in a coma and died four days later. According to a university student and supporter of Lambrakis, he was left to die at the hospital morgue. This caused an unprecedented political crisis; the opposition parties said it was an organized crime, while the police report that the government initially adopted was that it was an accident. During the examination, in the following days, it was found that among those that organized the murder plot, were police officers and police chiefs. The outrage for the murder and the fact that the police was directly involved eventually caused the Karamanlis government to resign in less than three weeks after the event.

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