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Update about anarchist prisoner António Ferreira de Jesus (Portugal)

António Ferreira de Jesus is an anarchist prisoner serving a very long sentence who recently has been protesting his conditions. 64 years old, in total he served already 43 years of imprisonment. Coming from a poor family, during the fascist Salazar regime, he revolts when he’s 17 when he’s thrown for the first time in prison. For years he suffers the horrors in prison, but he also teaches himself to read and write and gains a greater knowledge about himself and the society he is living in, and becomes anarchist libertarian. After his release, he is imprisoned three more times by the fascist state, and finally also by the “democratic” state. The worst crimes for which he was convicted are robberies of the rich and an assault on the boarding school of Leiria, where he was locked up several years of his life. His last conviction, without proofs and marked with unusual legal proceedings and violations of procedures, he got for the kidnapping of a heroin dealer. Solidarity with António – Destroy All Prisons.

After 43 days, António Ferreira left the solitary confinement at the maximum security pavilion this Monday, the 9th of November. António went back to the normal regime and to the “new” cell where he was meant to go, because the direction board of the prison gave in to his two main demands: The right to have, as everybody had before, a desk with drawers in this new cell (his other demands, a reading lamp and privacy in the showers had been granted to him already) and the promise that he will be transferred to another prison very soon, as it is his wish.

During this month and a half, António was for 5 days in drinking/thirst strike, 14 days in hunger strike and 8 days in silence strike. He never had, for example, access to a pen to be able to write, although 2 pens were sent to him by mail. He never had any personal object, clothing or something to read. But, still, he refused to go back to the common regime without having them granting him the things he was fighting for.

This specific struggle shows us again how António lives inside Portuguese prisons, with such a clear attempt of shutting down his protests that the prison director denies, even in a signed letter, that António was on hunger strike.

However, the actions, the letters and faxes, the personal phone calls and a protest outside the prison where he is, made impossible the strategy always used by them of isolating whoever is on that side of the walls.

We believe that the brave and firm position of our comrade, together with all the solidarity shown outside, stopped António from being another prisoner showing up “suicided” in the maximum security pavilion!

Nothing is over.

Not only is António still in prison and depending on the promises of the screws, but also this system and its prisons still exist!

For the continuous attack on this prison-society!

Some people in solidarity in Portugal.

Solidarity website for António (Portuguese language)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 at 5:09 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.