Prisoner revolt in Chania (Crete) and Thiva (Greece)

At around 1pm on Saturday 21.03, prisoners occupied the prison of Chania in Crete. An impromptu solidarity demo from the city of Chania to the prison was organised and a few hours later (5pm) a local radio station was briefly occupied, in order for messages of solidarity to broadcast. Another solidarity demonstration happened 1pm Sunday.

The prisoners in the prison of Thiva (mainland Greece, approx. 100km NW of Athens) have also revolted. This is a “drug detox” prison and it is also where Katerina Goulioni was held before her death. Prisoners in Thiva revolted after hearing that, even after Katerina’s death, people from outside were not allowed to visit and bring them news. Innitial reports state that one of the prison’s wings is already on fire; most prisoners have been transferred to other wings yet 10 refuse to leave and are in danger. People in solidarity are already travelling to the prison from Thiva, Athens and Thessaloniki.

There are 157 prisoners in a prison with an official capacity of 70; 108 beds in total (so two and even three people share one bed), one toilet per 57 people, no hot water. The prisoners demand that most of them get transferred elsewhere so that the prison can be de-congested.

What follows is a rough translation of the prisoners’ own declaration as issued a few hours ago.

“Us, the prisoners of the juridical prison of Chania, today on the 21st of March 2009 and in reaction to the horrific living conditions, refused to enter our cells demanding the immediate de-congestion of the prison. We consider, as solution to this problem, the immediate transfer of the majority of us to other prisons in the country. We ask, in other words, what should be a given. What no-one should be denied even for a single moment. Humane living conditions… Dignity!

How could we not act, when 157 of us are piled up in a prison (an ex-Turkish command building) holding 70, when 57 of us are forced to live in a room designed for 20, when we use a toilet, by booking an appointment from the day before, when we join-up beds so that three of us can sleep on them, when we have no hot water and shiver, when we shout and nobody listens, when the state hides away from a society an untold truth!

For yet another time the state becomes an accessory before the fact of a revolt deemed unavoidable!

The threats issued for the repression of the revolt and our juridical condemnation, of all who participate in it, as insurgents, criminals, do not scare us. The state will always find us against it! Its terrorism shall not pass!

We voted unanimously and by shouting that:

We continue our struggle until we get a hearing with a representative of the ministry of Justice, in order for our demands above to be met.”

Prisoners of the Juridical Prison of Chania

This entry was posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 2:25 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.