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Greece: Statements by the Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Tar | 06.10.2004 11:20 | Free Spaces | Globalisation | London

Statements by the alleged members of the "17th of November" guerrilla group on the beginning of their hunger strike.

Dimitris Koufontinas

For more than to years we have been forced to live in a sordid state of imprisonment. This amounts to a truistic violation of law, their law that expressly prohibits the special categories of prisoners. Let them clearly tell us that we belong to a distinct category of prisoners, that we are political prisoners, that we are their political opponents and that they wish to exterminate us.

We have exhausted, particularly during the last few months, each and every means. We have no other choices left to us but the utmost one, that of the hunger strike. We begin from this Saturday, with me as the first striker. Each coming week a new striker will go on a hunger strike.

We deny our slow extermination, we react against their hypocrisy, their mockery and their vengefulness.

Koridallos Prison, 18.9.2004

Christodoulos Xiros

On Saturday 25/9 I was the second prisoner that went on a hunger strike. I am forced to resort to the utmost means of protest, after we have done everything else which was possible.

During the last few months our lawyers repeatedly met with the minister of justice, the prison’s administration and the public prosecutor. We have sent out memoranda and other documents.

The result of these actions was a decision to open windows in two of the nine-meter walls that immure the 6-meter width of the stifling courtyard. After more than two years we managed to see small parts of the sky. However, immediately window shutters were installed. Dense metal mesh that reflects the light to a blinding point and blocks any view of the horizon. We protested intensely and in response they violently locked us in the cells and completed our “cage”.

We ask them to clearly tell us that we belong to a distinct category of prisoners and that they are going to exterminate us, leaving aside their hypocritically false statements of equality amongst prisoners and that democracy does not take revenge on people.

The other prisoners might live in sordid conditions, these degrading deposits of people, but they at least have courtyards where they can look at the sky. Us, do they want to blind us, to take us out, to exterminate us? We react and we resort to the utmost means of protest since everything else has failed.

Iraklis Kostaris

As an act of protest against everything that I have experienced during these two and a half years under the inhumane, the venomous conditions of imprisonment, the lack of communication, the violation of laws and human rights and as a highlight the unfair trial and my condemnation, I participate and support the hunger strike that other political prisoners too have began almost two weeks now in the special prison of Koridallos.

I call out every freedom-sensitive citizen, every democrat, to take a stand against the sordid trial, my unfair condemnation and our inhumane and vengeful extermination. In order not to turn towards the past instead of moving forward. No more prosecutions and condemnations in the altar of political expediency.