Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On prisoners in Greece

Prisoners of the greek state:

- anarchists and anti-authoritarians:

Vaggelis Botzatzis: he is in pre-trial emprisonment since 26/11/2007 accused for arsons against a french brand car yard, a "millenium" bank subsidiary and two state-run power company (ppc) cars. He is currently held in Komotini juridicial prison. Another three anarchists, two men and a woman are fugitives, wanted for the same case, based on the accusation of a security guard that claims he recognised Vaggelis' car near the car yard, the night of the arson attacks.

Giorgos Voutsis-Vogiatzis: he is in a pre-trial emprisonment since 3/10/2007, when he was "arrested" by a truck-driver, after a bank robbery, while leaving on a bike. Held in Korydallos prison. (translations of his letter http://anarcores.blogspot.com/search?q=voutsis-vogiatzis)

Giannis Dimitrakis: Condemned (1st degree) to 35 years! (25 maximum) for an armed bank robbery that turned into a shoot out with the police. He did n't fire at any cops, but got shot 3 times and wounded severely. Held in Alikarnassos Prison, Crete after moving from Korydallos to Malandrino (where his severe beating by prison guards lead to mutinies in prisons across the country), then to Neapoli, and currently Alikarnassos. (his prison letter: http://www.325collective.com/prisons_letter-from-giannis-d.html)

Stelios Malindretos: accused for beating up Polyzogopoulos, a known member of ex-ruling party (PASOK) and former president of the main syndicalist union GSEE (where PASOK has a majority). He is illegaly detained in Dafni mental illness detaintion center, in total, he is under continuous detaintion since 6/2/2006!

Marios Tsourapas, Chrissostomos Kontorevithakis: They attempted to burn up a municipality police car in Paleo Faliro (Athens) but got arrested by undercover policemen and tortured. Marios is held in Korydallos juridicial prisons while Chrissostomos is at the juvenile prisons of Avlona. (More info and translations of their letter at www.geocities.com/anarcores/faliro3.html)

- Accused for membership in November 17 revolutionary organization (all of them kept in special prison cells of Korydallos):

Giotopoulos Aleksandros: 17 life-time emprisonment (25 years: maximum)
Koufontinas Dimitris: 11 life-time emprisonment (25 year: maximum)
Ksiros Savvas: 5 life-time emprisonment (25 years)
Ksiros Vassilis: 25 years
Ksiros Christodoulos: 6 life-time empr. (25 years)
Tzortzatos Vassilis: 4 life-time empr. (25 years)
Tselentis Patroklos: 25 years
Kostaris Iraklis: 1 life-time (25 years)
Telios Konstantinos: 22 years
Kondilis Sotiris: 11 years and 3 months
Serifis Thomas: 8 years

(To sign a petition for the release of near-deathly injured Savvas Ksiros visit http://freesavvasxiros.webs.com/english.htm)

- At the time, all prisoners accused for membership in ELA (People's Revolutionary Struggle) are out of prison.

- In addition, more than 11.000 persons (official number: 10.983 - October 1, 2007 report) are currently held prisoners of the greek state. This number has tripled during the last decade! Almost one half of them are remanded under detaintion, and kept in a prison for up to 18 monthes, until their trial. According to the greek ministry of justice, there is room (cells-beds) for about 7.500 prisoners (a couple of years ago this number was estimated to 5.500). Immigrant prisoners are up to 4.500 (around 40-42%) not to count those kept in "immigrant reception centers", and there are no less than 500 women immates (half of them immigrants), and another 500 juveniles. Around 4.600 persons are emprisoned under the narcotics law (there is no definition on how many are for trafficking or for own use). More than 750 persons are under life sentences (25 years maximum, according to the greek penal code). It is not easy to count how many people die or "suicide" in prisons, because these cases do not always come to light, but according to official statistics there are for sure some 50 persons each year. Conditions are also cruel for people that suffer from AIDS, usually 20 or more persons are packed in a cell for 5-6 inmates, allowed only three hours per day out, in a small yard.

These numbers are not precise, because the ministry of justice does not regularly announce its statistics for the last couple of years.

The greek state (together with its cypriot partner state) also negotiates with Albania on the potential to expell albanian prisoners (the strongest minority inside greek prisons) to albanian prisons, or even to build its own state-run prisons in albanian territory.

In Greece, there are for the time, 14 prisons, 13 juridicial prisons, 1 mental illness detaintion center, 1 prison hospital (in Korydallos) and 1 drug addict prisoners withdrawal center (Thiba). Within 2008, there will be 4 new prisons, in: Grevena, Drama, Nigrita (Serres) and Chania (Crete) with a capability of about 2.700 inmates. Women inmates from Korydallos prisons (Athens) will be transfered to Eleonas (Thiba).

During April 2007, after the anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis was severely beaten by a prison guard, riots erupted in 11 prisons across the country. The prisoners took over the rooftops and yards of the prisons, lighting fires and vandalising the prison institutions for days and nights. Anarchists and antiauthoritarians organised large demonstrations outside the prisons, in solidarity to the rebellious prisoners. After five days of insurgency, the riot-police invaded most prisons and repressed the insurrection (For further information: http://athens.indymedia.org/features.php3?id=463) As a reply, there were multiple attacks and arsons against the police and other economic targets. Prisoners that participated in the insurrection, as Vaggelis Palis, Panagiotis Georgiadis and many others are still under repression, in the form of forced transfers to other prisons, overtime emprisonment etc.

(To contribute with a translation of this report, or any other prison letter/info on prisoners in greek, you can communicate with anarcores@yahoo.gr)

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