Under the pressure of a hunger strike staged by political prisoners one year ago, a new bill regarding prison reform came into force in Greece. This bill provides, among others, for the release of all prisoners providing that 1/3 of their sentences is served.
Many aspects of this bill have never truly been implemented.
We witnessed relatives of political prisoners remaining in pre-trial detention, people who became released following hunger-strikes and who were later given bail terms of exile. We witnessed prisoners deprived of educational furloughs despite fulfillment of all necessary requirements, we saw special conditions of detention still enforced on some prisoners and torture inflicted upon others for the illegal extration of DNA samples from the gang the anti-terrorism police is.
Another incident that illustrates how the laws of the state do not apply for everyone is the case of our fellow prisoner M. Makriyannis who has so far served much more than just 1/3 of his sentene. The man remains incarcerated after 24 years in prison plus 6 working years in prison and while he could benefit from the legal provisions of the recent prison reform, he still remains illegally incarcerated.
Regarding the extension of Michalis’ illegal detention, the competent political officials Paraskevopoulos and Papaggelopoulos replied reassuringly that this injustice will finally end, but in spite of that, Michalis still has to endure a condition of indefinite illegal captivity which essentially means he was excepted from specific legal provisions.
We call for the Ministry of Justice to give an honest answer:
Why in the case of the fascist bastard Roupakias, the letter of the law was implemented according to the provisions of the new bill and specifically the fact that the maximum detention in remand had been fulfilled, but when it comes to the case of our fellow prisoner M. Makriyannis the law is purposefully not taken into account?
Obviously that is because Michalis does not have the same connections within the police-judicial circles that target decent prisoners who refuse to bow their head following 24 years of imprisonment and on the contrary participated in struggles promoting prisoners’ rights.
Evidently this happened because they did not manage to turn Michalis into a submissive prisoner who will never react against the barbarity of our rehabilitation system.
If the Ministry wants to operate as a mechanism of retribution against prisoners by violating its very own laws, at least they should have the decency to publicly admit to that, otherwise it might be best that officials sign their resignation since they have turned themselves into the pawns of specific cop and judicial circles who implement the law however they like.
We declare our support for our fellow prisoner Michalis Makriyannis because no prisoner should stand alone before the institutions’ need for retribution.
Michalis release is above all legal and any further extension of his illegal detention is a crime committed by the state and when a state commits crimes any discussion involving the issue of justice is a joke.
But we are not laughing.
We are enraged.
We demand the immediate release of Michalis Makriyannis.
Prisoners’ Initiative A Wing Korydallos Prison, Greece