Skip to content or view screen version

Thessaloniki: Hungerstrikers' Determination Forces Their Release

IMC-UK | 01.12.2003 00:00 | Thessaloniki EU | Repression | Social Struggles

Passion banner

The Thessaloniki 7 were released on 26 Nov at 4.00 p.m Greek time. The hungerstrike has come to an end after between 49 and 66 days [First pics of the hungerstrikers & health report & FZLN support message]. The 7 are not allowed to leave Greece until their trial takes place [imc athens | imc uk].
The Council of Judges ruled their release after the district attorney in Athens ordered doctors to force feed the hungertrikers. Pressure on the Greek authorities had increased since the hungerstrikers' health deteriorated. Solidarity groups formed all over the world, 28 European parliament members called for the prisoners' release, Amnesty International called for an independent inquiry.

Indymedia Athens states: "This is a victory of the struggle for dignity and freedom by the 5 hunger strikers, of the other 2 prisoners, but as well the thousands of people that stood up for them all over the world!!!! It is an outright defeat for the greek state-repression complex, and for the global "anti-terror" mechanisms".

Solidarity campaigns all over the world continue demanding justice for the "Thessaloniki 7". The main IMC-UK Thessaloniki Solidarity page is updated continuously.

Imc Thessaloniki | Hungerstrike Latest Updates | Reports | Support | Free Simon Chapman Campaign

The 'Saloniki 7' were imprisoned on false charges following demos at the EU Summit in Thessaloniki in June 2003. Five of them were on hungerstrike between 49 and 66 days, protesting against the circumstances of their arrests and imprisonment. Spiros Tsitsas has been without food since Oct 7th, Simon Chapman, Fernardo and Carlos have not eaten since 5th Oct. Suleiman "Castro" Dakduk has been on a hunger strike since 21 Sept. After increasing pressure from international support groups, alternative and corporate media, especially after an order to forcefeed them, the Greek authorities have decided to release all 7 until their trial comes up. They are not allowed to leave the country.
Update 23 Nov Suleiman Dadkuk "Castro" was moved to a civilian hospital [doctors statement]


November 27: Spiros, Carlos and Fernando are treated in an Athens hospital, where yesterday, a happy crowd celebrated their release. Michalis Traikapis and Dimitris Fliouras celebrated at the occupied building of Athens University. [report]. The ezln sent a support message.
November 26:The Thessaloniki 7 were released today, as a result of their dertermined hungerstrike in protest against their imprisonment on false charges [First pics of the hungerstrikers & health report]. The news spread from imc thessaloniki to indymedia uk within 1 hour: [14:30 | 14:43 | 14:51 | 14:56 | 14:58 | 15:06 | 15:06 | 15:07 | 15:08 | 15:14 | 15:21 | 15:23 | 15:24 | 15:26 | 15:33 | 15:39 ]
Solidarity groups all over the world are wishing them a good recovery - and support the next steps in their struggle.
November 26: At 4 pm Greek time, a special Council ruled that the Thessaloniki 7 are to be set free until their trial. Meanwhile, they are not be allowed to leave the country. [imc athens | imc uk | reuters]. Earlier in the day, the Athens district attorney issued a statement that the 5 hunger strikers will be forced fed and doctors who refuse this will be "charged with homicide" [reuters | imc uk]. Possibly, this lead to increased media pressure on the Greek authorities.
November 25: 2 Hungerstrikers moved to hospital in critical condition [Press Release TPSG 26 Nov]. An Amnesty International Press Release calls for independent investigation into ill-treatment of demonstrators. A photo by Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis clearly proves that Simon has been framed by the greek police.
November 24 The public prosecutor suggested to turn down the request for immediate release of the seven hungerstrikers. The final decision of the magistrates council is expected in a few days. They can decide against the public prosecutors suggestion.
[Thessaloniki Legal Team Press Release 24 Nov imc uk | imc thessaloniki]
Due to their "extremely dangerous" condition, the hunger-strikers' doctors issued a public call [imc uk | imc thessaloniki]
November 23: Kleanthis Grivas, Alexandra Eftimiadou, Maria-Myrtw Griva, physicians of the 5 on hunger strike, examined Carlos Martin, Fernado Perez and Spiros Tsitsas in the General Public Hospital of Nikaia. The doctors had a hard time finding someone in charge, and concluded: "In Greece, civil rights have a chance of being relatively protected only if their infringement happens to take place during week days and not during Sundays or Holidays". A lawsuit against Greek authorities is envisaged doctor's statement
November 22: The authorities continue to move the weakened hungerstrikers around, without informing their doctors and lawyers. Solaiman Dadkuk "Castro" was taken to the Tzanio state hospital, as the prison hospital at Korydalos prison is not sufficiently equipped. He needs a surgical operation to prevent perforation of intestine. He was trasported back to prison, although the doctor of his choice disagreed. Carlos Martinez was taken to the Nikaea General State Hospital. The members of the medical staff of Koridalos Prison Hospital refuse to provide information to Simon Chapman’s lawyer. [report | Legal Team Press Release 23 Nov]
November 21: The Greek Justice Minister has ordered a decision be made by Nov 21. Two members of the Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group handed a letter of appeal to the Greek Ambassador in London. They wanted assurances that he had watched video evidence, recorded by Greek news television, which casts serious doubt over the integrity of the arrests made on the day (letter and video available on The Greek authorities must now make the decision whether to release the hungerstrikers on bail or let them die. [Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group Press Update Nov 21]
November 20: Requests for the release of the hunger strikers have not been answered. The doctors issued an alarming 2nd medical statement [imc Thessaloniki | imc uk]. Carlos Martin Martínez', (26), and Fernando Pérez' (21) health has worsened. All detainees require urgent continuous medical care [report].
November 19 Following a report of the Greek state broadcaster ERT, a Supreme Court prosecutor ordered an investigation into claims that Simon Chapman, held in pre-trial custody since his arrest after the June 21 G8 protests in Thessaloniki was framed by police. [imcuk | Kathimerini].
November 17: Dr. Kleanthis Grivas, one of the doctors of the five Hungerstrikers, releases a photo of Simon chapman on his 44th day without food.
November 15: The doctors of the 5 hungerstrikers release a public call in time for the Nov 17th demonstrations all over Greece.
November 14: A medical report by the doctors of the 5 hunger-strikers was given to the Juridical Authorities in Thessaloniki by their lawyers as part of a release application on medical grounds [Report(Gr/Eng)]. According to the report, the hungerstrike "includes now most certainly the risk of causing irreversible health damages".
November 13: Doctors and lawyers visited the hungerstrikers today [Report(Gr/Eng)]. They report that their medical condition is now very dangerous, and can result in irreversible damage to their health. Fernando Perez's situation remains critical and doctors fear he could fall into coma at any time.
November 11: After a dramatic 2 day thirst strike, the prisoners demands for slight improvements of their conditions were met [report]
But they were forced on a 400 mile transport ordeal from Thessaloniki to a prison hospital in Athens. This was ordered by the Ministry of Justice and involved a massive police presence. [Report]
November 10: The hunger strikers, who have all been in hospital since Friday night, have today started to refuse liquids. This dramatic escalation in their protest was in response to a denial of their basic rights. When their lawywers arrived at the hospital they were surrounded and threatened by armed police who prevented them from entering. Also rumors that the hungerstrikers may be split up and sent to seperate prisons some miles away [Report | Legal Team Press release]
November 10: The other two 'Saloniki 7' prisoners started a seven day solidarity hunger strike which is due to end next Monday, Nov 17.
November 8: All 5 hungerstrikers are taken to hospital as their physical condition is becoming increasingly critical.
November 6: Fernando and Tsitsas went to Papanikolaou hospital, as a result of being on hunger-strike [Report(Gr/Eng)] and went back to prison as they did not accept any food or medical treatment. Legal Team press release.
November 5: Carlos Martin has been returned to the prison after having spent 1 day in two different hospitals. His lawyer reports that on arrival to the hospital he was put in a chair with his hands tied behind his back, and was continually beaten and kicked by police throughout the night.Report here.
November 3: Carlos Martin Martinez was admited to hospital on Monday evening after 30 days without food, IMC-Thessaloniki reports.

Solidarity Actions, UK and Europe

Free Simon 26 Nov 03 - Leeds: Ongoing vigil
25 Nov 03 - London: We interrupt this Greek cultural evening in the Royal Fest Hall
xx xxx 03 - London: If any of the hungerstrikers falls into a coma or dies, the Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group will hold a demo at 4pm the same day at the Greek Tourist Board
25 Nov 03 - Cambridge: Info stall call
24 Nov 03 - UK: Design: "For the Greek Government, killing activists is now an olympic sport"
24 Nov 03 - 28 Nov - West Yorkshire: Week of action [call & report]
24 Nov 03 - London: Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group held a demo outside the Greek Embassy [call]
24 Nov 03 - Edinburgh: 740 signatures for the immediate release of the Salonica were collected in less than 5 days, and sent to Greek ministers of Justice and Interior [report]
21 Nov 03 - Cambridge: Info stall, 52 people signed postcards to the Greek ambassador report
21 Nov 03 - UK: MEP Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat European justice spokeswoman, requests urgent action from uk and greek government [report]
21 Nov 03 - London: Activists entered the Greek Consulate and explained to an official the urgent need to release the hungerstrikers. About a dozen activists occupied the offices of the Greek Tourist board, one was arrested [report 1 | 2]
21 Nov 03 - 23 Nov - West Yorkshire: Prisoners Solidarity Weekend including:
Bradford Nov 21 Benefit evening 7 pm at the 1 in 12 Club
Leeds Nov 22 Pickets Sat Nov 22 afternoon and evening
Leeds Nov 23 Benefit Film Screening at Packhorse Pub [invitation][report]
17 Nov 03 - Edinburgh: freesalonika7 are collecting signatures for the immediate release of all seven prisoners on High Street (near St. Gyles Cathedral), for as long as Simon Chapman, Suleiman Dakduk, Carlos Martinez, Fernando Perez, Spiros Tsitsas and two unnamed juveniles are in prison [report].
18 Nov 03 - Colchester: benefit & solidarity exhibition and screening [invitation]
15 Nov 03 - Colchester: The local support group put together a slide show about the Saloniki 7.
14 Nov 03 - London: Solidarity picket takes place outside the Greek Tourist Board in central London [Reports 1 | 2]
14 Nov 03 - London: A benefit gig in support of the Thessaloniki Prisoners Support Campaign is taking place at the Eton Mission Social Club, 91 Eastway, Hackney Wick.
14 Nov 03 - London: Protests were held outside the Greek Embassy in the morning and after work. Also, a reception by the Greek Ambassador was gatecrashed by a protestor [Report & Thoughts on more actions]
11 Nov 03 - Colchester: Solidari@s organised a solidarity screening and talk.
09 Nov 03 - Norwich: a "Week of Action" in support of the 'Saloniki 7' called by Norwich Anarchists, ended with a 24hr protest and solidarity hunger strike [update].
08 Nov 03 - London: On the international day of action in solidarity with the Saloniki 7 hunger strikers, about 80 people went to the Greek ambassadors house. They protested with samba and a street-theatre re-inactment of Simon's arrest [Pics and Reports 1 and 2 | Video]
08 Nov 03 - Cardiff: Cardiff Anarchist Network organised a solidarity benefit gig
27 Oct 03 - London: Solidarity Demonstration outside the Greek Embassy.

banner advert

Demonstrations in support of the "Saloniki 7' are continuing to be held throughout Europe:

26 Nov 03 - Athens: Demo outside the hospital, celebrating
25 Nov 03 - Amnesty: Amnesty International Press Release calls for independent investigation into ill-treatment of demonstrators

25 Nov 03 - Dublin: 5 Irish people will hold a 24 hour fast in solidarity with the Thessaloniki hunger strikers outside the Greek Embassy. [report 26 nov | report imc ireland | imc uk | background til 20 Nov]
24 Nov 03 - Athens: Fifth day University Administration Occupation. Demos in the evening at the Ministry of Justice. Administration of Polytechnic occupied. Heraklio: Building of City Hall occupied. [report]
24 Nov 03 - Thessaloniki: Faculty of Theology under occupation in solidarity with the Thess7. From the statement: "We demand the immediate release of our seven comrades (...) The ultimate plan (of the state) is to impose the silence of the graveyard upon society before, during and after the Olympic Games.
24 Nov 03 - Miami: Solidarity statement from Miami Activist Defense Legal Team
24 Nov 03 - Madrid: Demos announced for 29 and 30 November [call | background in spanish]
24 Nov 03 - Belgium: Demo outside the Greek Consulate in Gent on 21 Nov, on 24 Nov in Brussels, the consulate's office was occupied for about half an hour [report].
24 Nov 03 - Melbourne: call to action
22 Nov 03 - Athens: Athens University Administration still occupied for several days in solidarity with the Thessaloniki 7. [statement]
20 Nov 03 - Montreal: Support for Tessaloniki during an anti-FTAA demo with 1500 people [imc uk | imc thessaloniki]
20 Nov 03 - Athens: Anarchists and anti-authoritarians occupied the Rector´s Institute of the University of Athens. They demand "the immediate liberation of the seven fighters" [imcuk | infoshop] In the evening, a demo took place in town [report]
16 Nov 03 - Turkey: ELP volunteers hung 2 banners from a bridge in the name of Thessaloniki prisoners and Swiss eco-prisoner Marco Camenisch [pic]
15 Nov - Greece: List of Solidarity actions since Nov 11.
15 Nov - Aranjuez: Demonstration
15 Nov - Malta: Malta solidarity with Saloniki 7; 34 Rock bands, Political, Cultural and Social Organisations, Promoters, Publishers, Artists and Music Critics have signed a petition that was submitted to the Greek Ambassador in Malta.
14 Nov - Paris: Greek Embassy occupied [fr] and Air Olympic attacked during ESF Demonstration [report.
14 Nov - Thessaloniki: Between 40 and 50 anarchists occupied the offices of the governamental party. When they left the building they were attacked by the police. Protestors were beaten and sprayed with gas. One activist was arrested, but freed later. Reports in Greek [1 and 2]
14 Nov - Dublin: Demonstrators on today's action carried a heavy black wooden coffin to the front door of the Greek Embassy in Eire. They also carried five large black flags - each one a symbol of the five people on hunger strike. [Full report & Photos]
14 Nov - A Corunha: A series of continuous 24h solidarity hunger strikes started 3 days ago in the Galician city. The action has been organised by the anarchist local group Oveja Negra
12 Nov - Athens: 150 protesters on motorcycles drove to the front door of Greece's Prime Minister private residence, where they held an impromptu demonstration seeking the release of the 'Saloniki 7' [report].
11 Nov - Thessaloniki: 2 people were arrested outside Korydalos prison whilst they were trying to film the transfer of the Thessaloniki 5, so to get further evidence of the inhuman treatment they are receiving.
07 Nov - Thessaloniki: A 2,000 strong demonstration took place.
06 Nov - Athens: 1,500 people took the streets in support of the 'Saloniki 7'[Pics 1|2|3|video | report]. On the same night, three banks were attacked in the City [Photos]
04 Nov - Thessaloniki: Report and Photos of solidarity picket outside Thessaloniki's hospital where Carlos Martin was taken on Nov 3rd.
03 Nov - Barcelona: 70 Metro entrances were sealed with a combination of silicone gel and the fitting of ill fitted keys into the locks.[report]
31 Oct - Thessaloniki: A symbolic solidarity hungerstrike [es] was held by the girlfriends of 3 of the prisoners until Nov 2. [statement].
21 Oct - Thessaloniki: There was an office occupation of the Journalist's Union in Thessaloniki last week as well as a planned Theatrical action for the solidarity of the 7 imprisoned. A solidarity pamphlet has also been circulated by the "enemy within."
21 Sept - Worldwide: An international day of action in support with th 'Saloniki7', with actions in the USA (San Francisco), Greece (Athens - 1 / 2 / 3 ) and Spain (Barcelona), although there have been spontaneous demonstrations on other days too (see report from Helsinki). There have also been actions in Madrid, and other places. Read the updates from Athens Indymedia.

Related Contributions

For donations to the campaign for the immediate release of the "Thessaloniki 7" send cheques payable to "ABC" to: BM AUTOMATIC, LONDON, WCIN 3XX, UK. For more links or to get involved email: