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Thessaloniki Hunger Strikers - Legal team press release

31.10.2003 11:29 | Thessaloniki EU

Press release for the hunger strikers

From LEGAL TEAM 2003

Wednesday 29/10/2003

Judicial indifference and correctional Middle Ages

Asking for the ending of their pre-arrest, five of the seven imprisoned protestors of the rallys against the European Summit last June in Thessaloniki continue their hunger strike.

Suleiman Dakduk (Castro) is on the 39th day of his hunger strike, Carlos Martin, Fernando Perez and Simon Chapman on the 25th and Spiros Tsitsas on the 22nd .

On Monday, Spiros Tsitsas was transferred for a few hours to the hospital to be given first aid due to arterial pressure disorders and after suffering successive fainting shocks. On the whole, the health situation of the hunger strikers is worsening by the day and their permanent transfer to the hospital is a matter of days.

The decision for the hunger strike was caused by the attitude of the judicial authorities who regard the accused as already guilty, thereby grossly violating the principle of “assumed innocence”. Moreover, the decision on their pre-imprisonment, as well as the overruling of requests for their release, are solely based on a generalizing verdict about their “dangerousness” and the possibility of them committing punishable acts if released. It is however obvious that what in reality is keeping them imprisoned is the already in June apparent need for an “exemplary punishment” of the arrested protestors.

Additionally to these tactics, there is also the special status of detention the hunger strikers are receiving in the Diavata judicial prison of Thessaloniki. Hunger strike, while an unalienable right registered in the Penal Code, is considered in Diavata to constitute a disciplinary offense with an inofficial penalty of denying the hunger strikers communication with their intimate people. This inhuman treatment explicitly constitutes not only a violation of one of the most elementary rights of the prisoners, but an insult to our legal civilization as a whole.

The Legal Team 2003 calls upon the ones responsible to contemplate the weight of their responsibilities as they hold in their hands the lives of the hunger strikers and cannot stay deaf to this ultimate call for justice. The consequences of the strike could be tragic to the hunger strikers as well as for the democratic liberties.

Wednesday 29/10/2003

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