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Thessaloniki - hunger strikers in 400 mile transport ordeal

Thessaloniki Prisoners Solidarity Campaign | 11.11.2003 17:13 | Thessaloniki EU

A British man, one of five international hunger
strikers, arrested this June in Thessaloniki at the EU
summit, were this morning transported across Greece,
forced to sit upright in a cold cage in the back of a
police van. They have been on strike collectively
since 5th October, and are in an extremely weakened
physical condition.

11th November 2003

Thessaloniki Prisoners Support Group
07970 113770


After an enormous police mobilisation, the transport
of the 5 hunger-strikers from the Hospital
Papanjkola'oy to the Hospital of Prisons Korydaloy'
began at 2 o' clock , as a result of a command by
Ministry of Justice. Their lawyer says “It was like a
state conspiracy” as they were whisked away at night
without their lawyers knowledge.

A source in Thessaloniki reports “The caravan,
constituted from at least 7 police cars and buses came
out from Thessaloniki, directed to Athens. At the same
time, all along the way from Asvstochori to Chalastra
(provincial road, ring road, new highway) vehicles of
police were placed aside. According to some
information, intense mobility existed all along the
highway in the prefecture of Pieria, while cars
control was at Leptokarya”

Despite it being an unusually cold night, and the
hugely deteriorated medical condition of the five,
they were refused blankets and were not provided with
beds. Fernando, one of the prisoners, was so frail
that he was immediately transferred to a civilian
hospital where he remains unable to move at all.

At 11 o'clock, the Legal Team will testify a request
for the detainees to be freed on bail, due to the
health problems they face. A rally outside of the
court of Thessaloniki will be held at the same time.
There are solidarity demonstrations outside the Greek
Embassy, 1A Holland Park, London, today, Tuesday, at
11:30am and 5pm.



For interviews with English speakers in Greece:
Simon’s lawyer : 0030 6977345971
Simon’s girlfriend : 0030 6944544055

Support campaign in London
Charley : 07970113770

The new prison:
Mr Stakias : 0030 2107772811

To write to the prisoners:
Fylakes Koridallos
(make sure you include a sender address on the back of
the envelope)

Video footage screened on Greek national news proving
Simon’s innocence available on

Background Information:

Simon was arrested on Saturday June 21st at the
anti-EU demonstration in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was
by the anti-authoritarian block march which left the
occupied university at around 5.00pm. Initial scuffles
broke out between the police and part of the march
with the police responding with hundreds of cannisters
of CS gas and other chemical weapons. Simon was caught
up in this attack by the police and was overcome by
teargas. A police snatch squad then went for simon and
proceeded to kick him in the head and face repeatedly.
At this point Simon was wearing a distinctive blue and
purple rucksack as a photo taken by Reuters shows. His
bag was subsequently taken by undercover police who
proceeded to place three black rucksacks of molotov
cocktails near him as a photo taken by AP shows. In
addition to this evidence, a film footage moments
after the initial contact with the police shows
clearly undercover police placing the bags full of
molotovs near Simon as well as placing a hammer and
pickaxe handle in the bags. The Greek authorities
claim that Simons blue and purple rucksack does not

As it stands Simon and six others are temporarily
imprisoned and charged with resisting authority,
construction and possesion of molotovs, arson, serious
damage to property and riot which could theoritically
mean a prison sentence of between 7 and 25 years.
Their cases could take up to 18 months to come to
trial. All seven have so far had 3 bail appeals
rejected by the prosecutor, who has refused to look at
the video and photographic evidence.

At the time of writing all 7 prisoners remain in
prison on hunger strike. Their demands are: bail for
all seven, and that one of the prisoners, Suleiman
"Castro" Dakduk - a Syrian who has been living in
exile in Crete for 18 years, and who is now threatened
with deportation back to Syria where he faces torture
and imprisonment for trade union activity - be allowed
to remain in Greece.

Thessaloniki Prisoners Solidarity Campaign
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