Nikos Beloyannis, leader of the banned Communist Party of Greece was executed March 30, 1952

Published on March 30, 2024, by Il Grido del Popolo©️

Nikos Beloyannis, leader of the banned Communist Party of Greece was executed Mar. 30, 1952 after he was court-martialed on charges of treason and violating the ban. Arrested in 1950 with CIA assistance, his case prompted an international campaign to save his life.

Nikos Beloyannis was a Greek communist leader. He rose to prominence during the anti-Axis resistance (1941–1944), the British intervention (1944–1946) and the Greek Civil War (1946–1949).

After the defeat of the communists in the civil war in October 1949, Beloyannis fled the country, but returned in June 1950 to help rebuild the KKE (Communist Party of Greece), which had been declared illegal. Later that year, on 20 December, 1950, he was arrested on charges of conspiracy for his communist activities, and of treason on accusations of transmitting information to the USSR. He was taken for trial before a military court.

Beloyannis denied the accusations. He defended his actions as patriotic, and made many impassioned defenses of the achievements of the resistance. He spoke of the fact, that in the postwar years, people who had fought the Nazis were persecuted for their left-wing views, while Nazi collaborators were rewarded with posts in the Greek government. There were many national and international calls for clemency on Beloyannis, but on 1 March, 1952, he was sentenced to death.

After the sentencing, the Greek government received telegrams from around the world against the death sentence, while an international campaign, with the participation of personalities like Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Éluard, Nazim Hikmet and others, asked for the military tribune’s verdict to be overturned. Despite this, the Greek government executed him on the early Sunday morning of 30 March, 1952.