Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Mykonos tourist dead after nightclub beating

Doujon ZammitA 20-year-old tourist, who had been beaten into a coma by nightclub bouncers on Mykonos, was disconnected from life support by doctors and has died.

Doujon Zammit from Australia suffered serious head injuries from being struck with a metal bat, after he and his friends allegedly stole a handbag from the Tropicana nightclub (now closed) near the island’s infamous Super Paradise. The 25-year-old bouncer admits to hitting Zammit, but only with his fists, although a metal bat was found in his possession and was proved to be the weapon that bashed the young tourist to death.

It was decided to turn off life support when a series of tests revealed there was no hope of recovery. Zammit’s family has graciously donated Doujon’s organs, and his father Oliver maintains that Greece is, “a beautiful country with wonderful people,” and the tragedy was “bad luck.”

Doujon’s heart will go to an Australian-Greek national in Athens, and the rest of his organs will be used “to save Greek people,” said Maria Kairi, general director of the Henry Dunant hospital.

Questions raised

– Was a handbag ever found in their possession? And if it was, is that a license to beat someone dead?
– Did Zammit’s Italian-Maltese descent play a factor in being singled out?
– Why did Athens police only learn about this incident from the Australian Embassy 10 hours after it happened and not from local Mykonos police?
Why did the Greek media list the nationalities of everyone involved, except those guilty of the beating? They finally listed their nationalities as ‘Greek’ here, after 2 weeks of listing everyone else’s but not the guilty. For the record, the proper journalistic standard is to not list anyone’s nationality.
– Is anyone else left speechless by the Zammit family’s world class humanity, understanding and generosity?

If you have Facebook, you can get to know more about this young man and leave a message in his memory.

News stories about the incident

Athens Red Cross names wing after Doujon” – ABC
Officer linked to Zammit beating death” — Kathimerini
“Mourners applaud Doujon at funeral” (removed) –
Zammit’s father pleas with Greek ministry for better health care” – ABC News
Doujon’s heart will stay close to home” – The Times
Park memorial for Greece assault victim” – The Age
“Young Australian bashed to death in Greece” (newspaper closed) – Birmingham Star
Australian tourist dies in Greece” – The Age
“Grieving family turns off Doujon Zammit’s life support” (removed) –
Australian man’s life hangs in the balance” – Kathimerini
Law of the land vs. law of the night” – Kathimerini
Shock at island beating” – Kathimerini
British tourist Matthew Cryer dead under suspicious circumstances in Zakynthos, and his body sent home with no heart” — Telegraph

News stories about the trial/conviction

“Zammit family unhappy with verdicts” (article removed) — ABC
Bouncer jailed, but others free on bail in Zammit case” — The Age
Greek bouncer sentenced 22.5 years for killing Australian tourist in Mykonos” — Sydney Morning Herald
Greek bouncer found guilty in Zammit trial” — Sydney Morning Herald
Detailed account of how Australian tourist Doujon Zammit died in Mykonos, Greece” — Australian
Harrowing start to Aussie tourist death trial in Greece” — Australian
Zammit family & recipient of Doujon’s heart in Lesbos for murder trialAustralian
Australian witnesses vital to (Zammit) murder case in Greece” — Sydney Morning Herald
Doujon Zammit – tourist killed by Mykonos bouncer – honored at Greek wedding in Australia” — Australian



  Kev wrote @ August 1st, 2008 at 21:40

Sounds like just another clubbing night here in Vancouver. And I was just watching the news. The whole Malia “scandal” also sounds like just another clubbing weekend night here in Vancouver.

Sorry, my point in the above is not to minimize the death of that kid but to point out that I’ve become sick of (and quite jaded to) hearing about street thugs overreacting and killing for ridiculous reasons.

Case in point, the killer of Mano Xoreytaki, the 20 year old student from Xania that was slain in Rethymno a couple of months back:

His fellow students organized demonstrations! made facebook groups! went out to the streets! voiced their rage! And what really happened? The kid is dead and will never come back. Soon enough the incident will be forgotten by most. And in a couple of years some other Μαύρο μπουκάμισο “καπετάνιο” clown will come down to Rethymno from his village to show off his manliness because someone “insulted his honor” outside of the bar. Oh and guess what? The cops will drag their feet on the murder because half of them maintain relations with or are paid off by the drug lords. It’s been happening since I can remember, and it will continue to happen.

And where I live in Canada, it happens all the time. And the police handle the cases in largely the same manner, including the listing (or lack there of) of all nationalities involved.

Regarding the malia thing (quite a different issue from the above), the media in Greece sensationalizes it so much. It’s just another day at the office in so many places: Mykonos, Zakynthos, Ibiza, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, etc.. So what? British and American youth go to sunny places, consume lots of alcohol, and act like their on a “Girls Gone Wild” video. And the point is….?

  Angela wrote @ August 2nd, 2008 at 16:02

At this moment a 36 year old woman and a 40 year old man are receiving the Liver,Pancreas and Lungs given by Doujon Zammit’s father, after the barbaric, brutal slaying of his innocent son.

The media have announced that one culprit has been arrested and the other 3 have been set free under probation. It is absolutely imperative that the Australian government and international human rights representatives take a stand and make sure that the murderers and their employers, be punished, so that the soul of Doujon can rest in peace.

My condolensces to the family.

  Tania wrote @ August 4th, 2008 at 07:48

I too am blown away by Doujon’s family’s humanity and generosity. What amazing human beings.

I think it is up to the Greek Government to better monitor/train/licence bouncers in Greece. The extreme over reaction of these thugs is unbelievable and unforgivable. I think the Club they were working for should also take some blame/responsibility – don’t tell me this is the first time these bouncers have shown themselves to over react or be extremely violent…. I hope that ‘meson’ on the island doesn’t mean they all walk free.

I find it ‘amusing’ (for want of a better word) when the Greek media pick up on everyone’s nationality (especially ‘xeni’) including that a ‘Greek-Australian’ was getting Doujon’s heart and the rest of his organs were going to ‘Greeks’. Perhaps we’d benefit from a five-generation family tree so we can be sure they are correctly labelled ‘Greeks’ and not ‘Greeks from Asia Minor’ or ‘Greek Cypriots’ or (gasp horror) someone whose grandparent was of a different nationality. :)

And I guess they didn’t identify that they were ‘Greek’ bouncers who beat him to death because they weren’t Albanian…if they were it would’ve been front page news with screaming headlines for at least two weeks and all the extreme politicians would have come out railing against Greece’s immigration policies (yawn).

I’m not sure about Doujon’s heritage playing a factor. I remember a horrific case of a Greek-Australian (sorry his heritage is relevant in this case) young man who was with his ‘Greek’ cousin on a boat and they were slain in mysterious circumstances – the Greek police and media tried to make up all sorts of things including that they were g@y lovers (!) – as it turns out they probably stumbled upon a drug cartel doing their nightly drug run to the island (with the police / harbour patrol turning a blind eye – or getting a large fakelo) and were murdered so they couldn’t talk about it. So the fact that Doujon isn’t ‘Greek’ probably isn’t a really a factor at least in regard to the police’s inaction – it’s more about the inefficiencies of the island police force.

In any case it is a tragedy for the young man and his family. My heart goes out to them. They provide an example to all of us of true humanity and grace in the face of adversity. Bravo tous.

  FMS wrote @ August 4th, 2008 at 10:56

“Amusing” is not the right word for racial obsessions: the closest is “racialism” but racism would also suffice.

  Kev wrote @ August 4th, 2008 at 19:50

How about the sensationalist headlines like:

“Ξεπέρασαν κάθε όριο οι Τούρκοι!” while Evaggelato dictates in a dramatic tone as if the sky is falling.

It’s not η “τουρκική κυβέρνηση”, or “τα τουρκικά μαχητικά αεροσκάφη”, it’s… “οι Τούρκοι”! (with the exclaimation point.) The Turks! As in, “all the Turks”, in one collective sweep.

It’s comical when you see it most of the time, but in times of crisis like with Imia, it is down right dangerous to use phrases like these. You can whip up nationalistic fervor in a heart beat.

  rositta wrote @ August 5th, 2008 at 05:49

As a previous commenter said, it happens all over. Youth from Canada have gone to Mexico and been beaten to death, thrown over hotel balconies, run down by cars and no culprit has ever been found. Racism also abound thruout the world and it would be nice if we could find a way to stop it, just dreaming….Condolences to the family, I don’ t think I could be that gracious if it was one of mine…ciao

  graffic wrote @ August 5th, 2008 at 20:20

In Spain it happens. I still remember a famous case in Barcelona’s port area where security cameras recorded something similar. That time the poor guy drowned in the sea.

Greetings from the ‘Spanish’ guy.

  Kat wrote @ August 7th, 2008 at 18:13

Kev and Rositta – You’re right, the unfortunate reality is people do horrible things all over the world. Some of it is drunken stupidity, some of it brutality, most of it nonsense no matter how you look at it. People have very bad tempers here, getting upset over the smallest thing and being absolutely apathetic about things that really matter.

A – Thank you for leaving that update. Today, charges were brought against the three suspects previously let go. I’d love to see the Greek media say the word ‘Greek’ or show their faces, as they have no problem using the nationality of anyone else.

T – Nice to see you here again, missed you! If anything good came out of this, it’s that this nation had the chance to see what a truly gracious and hospitable and kind person looks like, a few people had their lives extended, and the issue of organ donation came into the spotlight. So many people don’t understand the importance of the latter, but as Doujon’s father says, “You don’t need your organs to go to heaven.”

X – It’s pure racism. Greek media have no idea what journalistic ethics are, even as many of them were educated outside GR and should know better. Sad.

G – You are a friend and a man, plain and simple.

  Tauros wrote @ August 8th, 2008 at 20:03

Hi Kat!

Though I fully agree with your comment about the ethics of Greek journalists, I would point out that there are laws in Greece that restrict what information the authorities can release about suspects. Don’t know if those restrictions extend to ethnic identity, nor to what degree the media is restricted, but do know that earlier this week the Minister of Justice spoke out in favor of changing this so that people charged for very serious crimes such as brutal murders, child pornography etc, would have their names made public.

Note from Kat: I respect those laws, but my point is that the media has no problem releasing name, ethnic identity and nationality when it comes to non-Greeks committing crime, but cloaks those things when it pertains to Greeks who do the same. If there is a law, it should protect everyone, not just Greeks.

  KT wrote @ August 9th, 2008 at 15:42

I dont think they should have gone far as to beat him so much….offcourse if they have meson they get away with anything…this is greece…

we’re only human ..his parents did what any other warm, kind, human being would do ..

  Tauros wrote @ August 22nd, 2008 at 17:23

Not to pick nits, but I don’t agree that “…the proper journalistic standard is to not list anyone’s nationality.” Right or wrong, almost all media (English-language speaking anyway) that attempt to approach journalistic ethics from a responsible standpoint refer to nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, etc, when it is relevant to the story. Given Greece’s dependance on tourism, and its self-professed “filoxenia” in support of that, I think it difficult to argue that references to nationality are not relevant to this story. If that’s so, should not the nationalities/ethnicities of the suspects been noted? Probably, but there is the legal problem of ID’ing suspects. So should the media simply have omitted the references to the victim’s background? I think that’s also a very hard argument to make.

Please don’t get me wrong. The Greek media in general have a long way to go before they will ever be labeled as ethically responsible. But in this particular instance (basically a pimple on an elephant’s ass in the big scheme of things), the reporting doesn’t seem to be too far off. Your other points are right-on, your overall research/observations superb, and even if you decide to ban me for some reason, you will have my respect for what you’ve done with this site.

Kat Reply:

Why would I ban you? I appreciate your readership and enjoy input from intelligent people who contribute to discussions. You are free to express your opinion as long as it’s not mean spirited or racist toward me or my readers.

I was reading directly from the Associated Press Stylebook, which many professional journalists around the world regard as the standard. The Code of Ethics say that nationality and race should not be listed except in rare relevant cases, i.e., A hate crime. Listing age is fine, listing gender is fine. Because Doujon was a tourist, his nationality is unavoidable but his ethnic origin is irrelevant. You’ll often notice that Greek media lists race when it is completely irrelevant (i.e., when non-Greeks are suspects and commit crimes, but never in the case of Greeks; a crime is a crime) and thereby biases the public. That’s wrong. See, “Greek media, now with less racism.” If you do not agree with me, then you are also disagreeing with the oath that legitimate journalists vow to uphold. That is your right. But I believe we agree.

  Tauros wrote @ August 22nd, 2008 at 20:37


I Fully agree that Greek media often ascribe various acts to nationalities/ethnicities/races when not warranted. However, my basic question in the last post stands: Do you think the Greek media should have refrained from references to the victim’s background since there were legal restrictrictions regarding information on the suspects?

(Having asked that though, I will note that eKathimerini — as you referenced in your initial post — did in fact identify the suspects as Greek on 31 Jul.)

And, having added that parenthetical note, I will further say that I do believe we are in full agreement on the fundamental points you’ve made about the media. Appreciate your tolerance.

Kat Reply:

I believe if there are laws that protect suspects, there should be equal or more protection for victims. The law and its enforcement or lack thereof is inconsistent, and it’s pointless to understand the logic behind what the majority of Greek media does because there isn’t any. I do believe disclosing Doujon’s nationality was unavoidable, but his ethnicity is irrelevant and should have been excluded.

  Tauros wrote @ August 24th, 2008 at 21:31


While I don’t necessarily agree with your first statement, your points are well taken.

  the exile wrote @ August 25th, 2008 at 20:11

peopel are crazy…another couple just got beat up, not killed thank God. I hate to say it, but you get a lot of people drinking and doping youre going to get this sort of thing. the folks that go to mykonos and ios are usually WAY out of control. Thes places are noted for $ex, Binge-Drinking, and Drugs, everyone that goes knows this before they even go…in short, its why they go in the first place! And although its not right for bouncers to beat people up, or kill them, I guess we all need to keep in mind that “common sense” goes a long way.

  Peter wrote @ September 12th, 2008 at 06:07

The beating and death of Doujon was very tragic and saddened me greatly as I had left the island one day before this incident happened. I was in Athens and caught the story on the news. It broke my heart to see Mr. Zammit on television and then to hear about the human compasion of the family donating Doujon’s organs to save the lives of other Greeks just astounded me. Fortunately, I made it back to the States in one piece. I do want to ask what “the exile” was writing about when he mentioned a couple got beaten up. I was wondering if he/she could expand on the story.


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