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Greece: The case of Nikos Kountardas

Dora | 04.06.2009 16:07 | Repression | World

Nikos Kundardas, a brave anarchist comrade from Greece, is on hunger and thirst strike, demanding his freedom. He is charged with setting a bank on fire, even though the prosecutor has no evidence available.

Greece: The case of Nikos Kountardas

An anarchist on hunger and thirst strike

Nikos Kundardas (Νίκος Κουνταρδάς), a brave comrade from Greece, is on hunger and thirst strike, demanding his freedom.

Nikos Kundardas was transported in critical condition to Nikea's General Hospital from Korydallos Prison where he was being imprisoned. He is on hunger and thirst strike since Saturday 16 of May 2009.

31-year old Nikos Kountardas is charged with setting a bank on fire in Thrace, Greece, on 4 October 2007. He was previously jailed for 17 months for another reason, still not the subject of any court hearing.

Police has seized a large amount of personal bellongings during raids at his home, but there is no evidence that he was really involved in the attack against the bank. His bail conditions were to present himself every 1st and 16th of each month at the local police station in Xanthi. When he presented to the police on Saturday, 16th May, he was jailed because the police claimed that he failed to present himself in the previous deadline, even though he has an eyewitness who did so for him. On Sunday he was transferred to the Komotini prisons and on Tuesday to Amfissa, while he was beaten in the police bus with 20 cops inside.

18 May 2009

Nikos Kountardas has been transported to Komotini, a city in nothern Greece, since yesterday, 17 May 2009. He is in solitary confinement. He was examined by the doctors. He is on his third day of hunger and thirst strike (it started during the night of Saturday, 16 May). His lawyers will talk the public prosecutor. During the night of Sunday, 17 May, comrades organized a solidarity march. On 18 May (20.30 local time) more solidarity actions were planned in Xanthi, another city in Thrace, Greece.

The way he was jailed and the fact that he is in solitary confinement supports the view that he fell victim to an organized attempt to get rid of him for political reasons, and therefore Nikos Kountardas is a political prisoner. Nikos is determined to continue his hunger and thirst strike until the end.

22 May 2009

According to an article in the Eleftherotypia (free press) newspaper, Nikos Kountardas' lawyer, Spyros Fytrakis, demands to set him free until the court hearing, so that he can receive the fullest possible medical attention, as his hunger strike is very serious and his life is at immediate danger. His lawyer further says that there was no serious reason for his arrest.

22 May 2009

N. Kuntardas was transferred during the night of 21 May from the prison hospital of Korydallos Prison (Athens) to the Public Hospital of Nikaia, in Athens. He has signed a document in which he refuses to accept any attempt by the doctors to provide him with nutrients. Comrades planned a protest at Nikaia Hospital and a discussion at the National Metsovio Polytechnic.

22 May 2009

He has problems with his eyesight caused by his hunger and thirst strike, and has difficulty recognising faces.

28 May 2009

Nikos Kountardas' letter - Hunger and Thirst strike since yesterday again

28 May 2009, Thursday

Nikos Kountardas' letter from Hospital, where he is during his 13th day of hunger-strike. Since yesterday he started again thirst-strike.

I write a few things on a napkin. In secret. They have prohibited me everything. I am in situation of complete isolation. I don't know what happens outside. Real terrorism from the deep state. However, I consider I did not say the last word. I hope this will reach outside and will become known, propagated. Whatever happens. Hear the deposit of soul that I made before one week in Radio Revolt. The situation and the conditions here remind other dark ages. They are all furious with me. I do not know if I am considered political prisoner of their democracy, one sure thing is that if someday the sovereignty falls I will perhaps be recognized as a former fell or former prisoner of their “democracy”. Something like the actual frequently advertised and honored, and recognizable from all co-released - exiled of the dictatorship. Until then... deafening silence. Silence like omerta' that should not “break”. Doesn't matter, someday they'll understand, maybe the people will wake up.

Here, in Government Hospital now, I am here since Friday where I was transported in almost faded out condition, with pressure 7-5, glucose 45 and lighter by 6 kilos. I'll describe what's going on. The doctors tried they put me IV water, however I did not accept. Generally in any case I admit that despite the pressure by the state they have kept decent attitude. However, the evening, dawns of Saturday, as long as i I did not have my senses a strange woman entered escorted by cops and made injections of water with glucose and vitamins. This is a incident that I want to make public and denounce, while there is also a testimony of the only other detained here.

I want to say that we can all imagine what happened then with Savvas Ksyros in Evangelismos Hospital. And as I have mentioned on Friday, I want to thank the friends and comrades that upset the region of the hospital. Touching and pleasant for me, unpleasant for the enemy. Also I thank all the people that the next morning came here. It was a movement that lived up my soul. I heard and was glad for the great demonstration in many anarchists' resort city of Xanthi. The same for the attack against the riot police in Trikoupi St. and in Thessaloniki. I THANK friends and comrades from each corner of Greek space for the multiform solidarity.

Now some different thanks.

* I “thank” the "people in charge" from me ministry of justice that are gathered outside by the room that I am guarded in order to resolve my problem.
* I “thank” the public prosecutor and police authorities that in 10 minutes they me wrapped in a glue paper, while the responsible council of judges of Komotini for my release needs more than 10 days.
* I “thank” the human guards for the polite attitude at my transfer-kidnap from the prisons of Komotini jail, worthy and exemplary for a prisoner in hunger and thirst strike.
* I “thank” my retained in the prison of Komotini that as solidarity abstained from the food, burned the jail when he learned about tortures and continues supporting me to my suspicious fight.
* I “thank” here in the government hospital the guards that let me make phone calls, that “respect” the personal data and “respect” the rights of a prisoner.
* I “thank” the parastate that have "not" threatened my parents...
* Finally I “thank” in advance all the scamps that will defame and blackmail this second and difficult effort to find my right.

Today, Wednesday 27/5/09 noon I begun the 2nd and last strike of hunger and thirst. I will fight for my right with all means. If there's no solution WAR WAR WAR!

Closing two favors. I had promised something to Alexis, during his funeral in P.Faliro, perhaps I will not have the time. Comrades propagate now that is period of pan-Hellenic exams in schools these things: 6/12/08-6/6/09. No students and schoolmates this year candidates for the police. WE DO NOT FORGET - WE DO NOT FORGIVE

And closing, protect Xanthi as if protecting your eyes

I'm not from this world


Real Love, Νίκος Κουνταρδάς

31 May 2009

A Facebook group was set up demanding his release,

1 June 2009

Medical Certification about the health condition of Nikos Kountardas, published on Monday 1st of June



“About the patient Nikos Kountardas, 31 years old

The above mentioned patient who is hospitalized detained is in hunger strike from the 16th of May 2009. From 16th of May until the 23rd of May he was refusing to get any liquid from his mouth.

He was first checked from us on the 22nd of May, when he was brought on our day of duty. Really, the patient was strongly dehydrated with points of ortho-hypotension, unable to urinate, and laboratorial findings compatible to acute kidney insufficiency. Additionally, he showed disorder of conscience level (heavy sleepiness and clutter of late memory)

From 23rd of May until the 27th of May the patient used to accept taking water from his mouth and was keeping in hunger strike. Us a result his kidney function got recalled, as well as the conscience level. However, from 27th of May he refuses entirely to take any food but also any other liquid. His general condition has been run-down. He shows heavy sleepiness, appearances of ortho-hypotension, and despite the fact that he hasn’t shown until now any incident of clinical hypoglycemia, the level of his blood sugar remains constantly low. Additionally, he shows few urination and laboratorial findings compatible to kidney burden (uremia and pus-spheres on the general urine check).

The patient weights 55Kg, while the 1st day of his hospitalization, when he was weighted for first time, he was 62,5Kg. He reports that his body weight before the start of the hunger-thirst strike was about 65Kg. This means that the total weight loss is accounted about 10Kg, which is more than 10% of his usual body weight, fact which, joint with the continues lack of liquid raises hard anxiety for his health process. He shows hard emaciation and continues sleepiness.

Considering that our medical deontology does not allow us to use any compulsion in terms of the enforcement of medical attendance to the patient, who has already been checked by a psychiatrist ascertained as imputation and healthy mentality, we caution for the becoming heavy condition of his health condition.”


The certificate above was written on Monday mourning. Ever since, and from the same day’s afternoon, Nikos drinks a small amount of liquid any day, surely much less than he should as a hunger-striker. He remains, despite the hydration (weight gathering) on 55Kg today. Covering the 18th day of hunger-strike, he is in increased danger of complications and permanent damages on his health.

2 June 2009

The committee that will decide whether he should be released will meet on 10 June, after the 7 June 2009 European Parliament elections in Greece. Meanwhile, Nikos is in danger of non-reversible body and brain damage. Obviously the state hopes that N. Kountardas will give up, but no government official can understand the determination of an anarchist. As his life in the hands of the state is in danger, Kountardas is in need of solidarity from his comrades internationally.


ALL TIMES in local time, timezone UTC+02 (Athens, Greece)

A solidarity action is planned for Saturday 6 June 2009, 13:00, Child Roof Park, Nikaia (Athens)

3 June: Occupation of the ERA station in Volos, Thessalia, Greece

2 June: Occupation of local radio station in Xanthi, Thrace, Greece, and attack against the government's Press Ministry in Athens

1 June: Occupation of local radio station in Volos, plus further occupations of 3 more radio stations in Mytilini, Lesvos Island, Greece

30 May: Solidarity march in Athens, and a public talk in Xanthi

29 May: Public talk in Mytilini, other solidarity actions in Athens

28 May: Visit at radio station in Serres, Greece, public talk in Iraklio, Crete Island, Greece

27 May: Public talk in Larisa, Thessalia, Greece

26 May: Gathering in Komotini, Thrace, Greece to inform the public about the case

25 May: Gathering and public talk in Athens

24 May: Solidarity March in Xanthi, Thrace, Greece

23 May: Solidarity actions in Kozani, Greece, gathering at the General Public Hospital of Nikaia in Athens, and another action in Serres

22 May: Solidarity gathering outside the hospital where Nikos Kountardas is confined, public talk in Kavala, Solidarity Breakdance, other solidarity actions in Xanthi

20 May: Action in Kozani

18 May: Solidarity March in Xanthi

Audio recording of Nikos Kountardas on his 3rd day of hunger strike:

Updates on his health, in Greek:

This English summary was composed by Dora on 4 June 2009, Lamia, Greece



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  1. Solidarity gathering outside the hospital — IJ