Political prisoners in Greece on hunger strike



By BlackCat

The Network of Insurgent Prisoners and the Alliance of Fire Nuclei, along with Demetris Koufontinas, Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Ghournas are resorting to hunger strike once again as the Syriza-ANEL government coalition seems reluctant to implement the prison reforms that were promised by the radical left party, during its pre-electoral campaign. The collective action is also in solidarity to hunger striker George Sofianides, a student in prison unable to attend his classes at the university due to his transfer to a facility far away. The student has been on hunger strike for four days so far. His absence can lead to his unfair expulsion and cancellation of his enrollement which jeopardize his chance to graduate from university.

Members of the Alliance of Fire Nuclei denounce the framing of family members and friends of participants in the organization and stress that these allegations are not supported by any evidentiary fact, as the only reason behind this is to reinforce scaremongering. The announcement highlights that the Syriza government is worse than the far-right New Democracy since the counter-terror section of the police is now acting more arbitrarily than ever.

Nikos Maziotis is in accordance with the previous statement as he expresses that no essential change can result following recent elections. Despite Syriza using marketing communications tricks (such as renaming troika to ”institutions”) to mislead the public, he is bound to follow the same course of action as the previous government. According to his announcement the war on terror of the last 15 years have made capitalism endorse totalitarianism in order to enforce a dictatorship of the markets. Nikos Maziotis feels that a mass social revolution is the only way out of recession, memorandums and debt.

The Network of Insurgent Prisoners highlights the importance of struggles within prison as the only means of improvement of the conditions of incarceration: ”We begin with an acknowledgement that must never be forgotten. Everything is conquered through struggle. If nowadays we are permitted to have books, televisions, liberal communication through telephones, furloughs, if we are not assaulted by prison guards, we owe it to the bloodshed uprisings and hunger strikes of previous prisoners.” Solitary confinement, immigrant detention centres and the significant increase of prison sentences are all issues that must be dealt with urgently, as prisons become the central form of capitalist repression of the neo-liberal model since the Keynesian welfare state has been abandoned, according to the Network of Insurgent Prisoners.

While an extensive announcement by the Alliance of Fire Nuclei is to follow soon (according to AthensIndymedia), the general demands of the hunger-strikers are as following:
1) Abolition of the A counter-terrorism legislation of 2001, of article 187 on criminal organizations
2)Abolition of B counter-terrorism law of 2004, article 187A (terrorist organization)
3)Abolition of the law against covering the face
4)Abolition of the law for type C prisons
5) Decarceration of Savvas Xiros due to serious health issues

Network of Insurgent Prisoners also demands:
1)Cancellation of court orders allowing the use of brute force for attaining DNA samples
2)Analysis of DNA samples by experts that are trusted by the prisoner
3)Cancellation of analysis of samples where the genetic material is comprised of more than two individuals

According to an article by eksegersi.gr Panos Lambrou, member of the political secretariat of Syriza and self-proclaimed counsellor the Minister of Justice Nikos Paraskevopoulos, along with Syriza MP Vassiliki Leva, met with the hunger-strikers today. The government delegates informed the prisoners of the MoJ’s intention to abolish Supermaximum Security Prisons. The hunger strikers responded that they will not stop until a bill fulfilling their demands is in parliament.

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