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Letter from the Special Basement of the 6th wing of Koridallos prison, Athens (Greece)

Since the 29th of November, we, the three political prisoners of the underground special wing 6 of Korydallos, defendants in the case of Revolutionary Struggle, participated in the mobilizations of the prisoners of all prisons, which either with prison food abstention, or with hunger strikes, fight for the improvement of certain provisions of the C.C. (Correctional Code) regarding the leave days, probation and disciplinary matters, decent treatment and improvement of the detainment conditions, the abolition of certain draconian penal provisions, special detainment conditions, reduction of the life sentence, as well as the release of disabled prisoners and cancer patients.

In the frame of these demands it is also sought that the special anti-terrorist laws that occasionally have been voted in [by politicians] are abolished, with the most recent of those that were passed in August, that the “progressive” Kastanidis (present minister of “Justice”) passed secretly and where it’s allowed for anonymous witnesses to testify in trials of cases of armed revolutionary organizations and “organized crime”, as well as the reclassification of ‘violent action of demonstrators in mass mobilizations’ as “terrorist actions”.

The situation is not accidental in which they passed these two provisions, since Kastanidis participates in a government of traitors against the Greek people, that executes the commands of the bankers of the international economic elite.

It is natural that along with the application of the Memorandum, the repression of the state for the defense of the regime since they await social explosions that can put at risk its existence itself.

Also among with the demands of the prisoners is that of the abolition of the special regime of detainment of political prisoners, whether it’s the special wing in the F.P.K. (female prisons of Korydallos), where the sentenced for the 17N (17 November – Left anti-imperialist armed organization) are detained, or the basement of the 6th wing.

The 6th wing is an isolated small wing and the basement in which we are kept has 8 cells of 2 people.

The 6th was a building – warehouse which was transformed into a detainment space in 2002 when the 17N arrests happened.

For many months, the arrested of the 17N experienced a regime of isolation where they were locked in the cells 23 hours a day, without free access to information and correspondence, while in the courtyard – a grave 20 x 10 meters that one can see only the sky through a barbwire, they came out 1 hour, 2 people at a time and with the escort of a prison guard.

Even though this ‘special regime’ was abolished, the basement of the 6th wing continues to function despite all the insufficiency of the buildings infrastructure, in air, lighting and the big tightness of space, since outside the cells only a narrow corridor 10 x 2,5 m for the prisoners to walk.

As anyone can realize we have the same space that the domestic animals have in a cage or in a pen.

To the basement of the 6th, the prison authorities sends either prisoners like us; political, with the decision of the ministry; or prisoners that are branded dangerous (e.g. to escape) and are sent here for isolation, or prisoners which have problems with other prisoners from other wings.

Despite all this, recently, the prison authorities have crammed 20 detainees in the basement of the 6th, putting a third person in the cells of two, who slept on the floor, while the maximum capacity is 16 individuals in such a narrow space.

On Friday the 10th of December in the afternoon, some of us protested this situation to the Sergeant on shift who although justified us regarding that this situation offends human dignity, declared to us he cannot do anything because there is no other space to put the extra prisoners.

After a few hours and just before the prison closed, we were informed that the minister of “Justice” of the Troika (Tri-State – EU, IMF, ECB), Kastanidis, is visiting the prisons of Korydallos to “discuss” with a “delegation” of detainees the demands which have been placed with the mobilizations that are taking place all over Greece in all prisons.

Then, we decided as the 19 prisoners of the basement, with common defiance, to deny to enter the cells at 8.00pm in the evening as ordered by the regulation of the prison, and we demanded that the minister himself come and visit the basement of the 6th and see the situation for himself.

Since we realize that the minister came to Korydallos in order to make another political “communication funfair” meeting with a non-existent “elected self-organized committee of struggle”, we denied as it was proposed to us by the prison authorities that 2 individuals go as representatives of the basement of the 6th, and we insisted that he should come down to the basement and that we will not enter the cells if he does not come. We had no intention to “discuss” with someone that, because of his political identity, the fake promises and the “I will” as is his profession, e.g. he had promised when he was in the opposition to abolish the “hoodlaw” (law which says that if you cause damage while wearing a hood or mask, its a terrorist action) while now as minister of the Troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank. and the E.U. applies even more draconian laws.

Naturally our demand that the minister comes to the basement of the 6th was not accepted either because the “honorable” minister denied, or because the sergeant denied to transmit our demand.

We then decided that we are not going to enter the cells all night if the basement of the 6th is not relieved of the overcrowding, which means the transport of the extra prisoners, something that finally happened at 11.30 at night.
Nothing of course guarantees that we will not have similar situations in the future.

The obvious fact is that we demand dignity and this consists of the abolition of the basement of the 6th wing, the abolition of the special division, where they keep the sentenced of the 17N, the abolition of every special regime of detainment for any category of prisoners, while we support all the demands of our fellow prisoners that participate in the mobilizations.

The most and real criminals are not behind the prison walls. The real robbers and murderers, those that rob the Greek people, that plunder the wages and the pensions, those that deprive the care and health, are in the “Megaro Maximou” (Maximou Mansion- The Greek equivalent of the White House), in the ministerial offices, in the seats of parliament, in the bourgeois districts, in the villas and in the luxurious offices of the bankers, the businessmen and the shipowners.

K.Gournas, S.Nikitopoulos, N.Maziotis

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 at 3:47 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.