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Thessaloniki Prisoners update 29/09

@ | 29.09.2003 10:55

It has now been over 3 months since the violent arrests and imprisonment of 7 activists at the massive EU demonstrations in Thessaloniki in June 21st, 2003.
The information from Greece amongst comrades and lawyers have been contradictary and confusing. Information we are told as facts turns into mere rumours. Therefore as far as we know, from Simon Chapman, we will repeat here
and can only report at this stage as fact as of Sept. 29.

So here goes:

The information regarding appeals is standard for all 7 prisoners. Two appeals
have been lodged so far. The first on July 1st, 2003, regarding the charges, was refused by the Greek state. This was expected to fail. A second appeal was lodged on September 11th, 2003. As of yesterday [Sept.28th] this appeal too has been rejected. This confirmation came from a phone call from Simon Chapman to a friend involved in the London based Thessaloniki Support campaign. According to the lawyers this news is good! Apparently this means that the "Interrogation Stage" of the prosecutions process is finished i.e. the assesment of the case between police and prosecution has finished.
It is good because it has 'only' taken three months. Some cases involving arrests around the N17 armed cells are taking over 2 years. Also the next appeal which will be lodged, will be lodged to a council of judges and apparently will be the place were a positive decision if any will take place. This is why the lawyers thing that it is good the two appeals have passed as they did not have any faith in them and are waiting for this next stage of the appeal process. Again, we have been told that this is true for all 7 prisoners.

Hunger Strikes:

Kastro, the Syrian comrade who has lived in Greece for 18 years, has started a hunger strike as of last Sunday, Sept 21st. This was to coincide with the 3 month detention of the prisoners. Kastro, even if released, has not got papers to stay in Greece and could be transferred to a detention centre for deportation to Syria. Because of passed activity in Syria he faces life imprisonment. The Spanish kids, Carlos and Fernando will start their hunger strike on Sunday Oct. 5th. Once on Hunger strike they will be moved to isolation cells, though apparently these are much 'nicer' than their current prison cells. Kastro has been on hunger strike for 8 days now. Simon saw him yesterday and said that he was looking alright.

The Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Campaign meets every Wednesday at 7.30pm at:

Autonomie Club,
Upstairs at Freedom Bookshop,
84b Whitechapel High Street,
London E1.

Nearest tube: Aldgate East

- e-mail: