this guys a friend of mine if you can help please do, things are getting desperate, read on for ideas on how and and please distribute this as wide as you can. Weekly demonstrations are being held check http://www.indymedia.org.uk for details.
More than five months after the EU summit in Thessaloniki, 7 people remain incarcerated within the Greek prison system. Simon Chapman (English), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spanish), Carlos Martin Martinez (Spanish), Souleiman “Kastro” Dakduk (Syrian), Spyros Tsitsas (Greek) and two Greek juveniles are continuing to be denied justice, despite overwhelming evidence that they have been framed and despite solidarity protests around the world. They were arrested after a police sweep of the anti-capitalist demostrations outside the EU summit in June 2003.
Five of the ‘Saloniki 7’ have been on hungerstrike for between 49 and 66 days in protest against their imprisonment.
Recently surfaced video footage from a private Greek television channel shows the police filling up black rucksacks with petrol bombs at the demonstration where the prisoners now known as the ‘Thessaloniki Seven’ were arrested. These black bags, which the police claim belonged to those arrested, are the only evidence against the hungerstrikers that the authorities have.
In the case of Simon Chapman video evidence from Reuters, AP and Greek state news television ET3 showing the police switching his bag to one filled with molotov cocktails has not been allowed to be shown in court. To view this evidence go to http://www.freesimonchapman.org/evidence.
At this critical and desperate time, we urge everybody in Britain to put pressure on the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, to intervene to save the life of Simon Chapman and the other hungerstrikers. This is easily within his power; after the original arrests, the US government intervened to get one of the (then) ‘Thessaloniki Eight’, with identical charges, released on bail immediately. We wonder why our own government is showing not showing the same compassion for one of their citizens.
Alternative you can write to the Greek Embassy (address and e-mail at end of message), your own MP, or your European MP as well as local and national media.
November 24 The public prosecutor suggested to turn down the request for immediate release of the seven hungerstrikers. The final decision of the magistrates council is expected in a few days. They can decide against the public prosecutor.
November 22: The authorities continue to move the weakened hungerstrikers around, without informing their doctors and lawyers. Solaiman Dadkuk “Castro” was taken to the Tzanio state hospital, as the prison hospital at Korydalos prison is not equipped. The members of the medical staff of Koridalos Prison Hospital refuse to provide information to Simon Chapman’s lawyer.
November 21: The Greek Justice Minister has ordered a decision be made by Nov 21. Two members of the Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group handed a letter of appeal to the Greek Ambassador in London. They wanted assurances that he had watched video evidence, recorded by Greek news television, which casts serious doubt over the integrity of the arrests made on the day (letter and video available on http://www.freesimonchapman.org). The Greek authorities must now make the decision whether to release the hungerstrikers on bail or let them die.
November 20: Requests for the release of the hunger strikers have not been answered. The doctors issued an alarming 2nd medical statement. Carlos Martin Martínez’, (26), and Fernando Pérez’ (21) health has worsened. All detainees require urgent continuous medical care.
November 19: Following a report of the Greek state broadcaster ERT, a Supreme Court prosecutor ordered an investigation into claims that Simon Chapman, held in pre-trial custody since his arrest after the June 21 G8 protests in Thessaloniki was framed by police.
November 17: Dr. Kleanthis Grivas, one of the doctors of the five Hungerstrikers, releases a photo of Simon chapman on his 44th day without food. (http://www.indymedia.org.uk)
November 15: The doctors of the 5 hungerstrikers release a public call in time for the Nov 17th demonstrations all over Greece.
November 14: A medical report by the doctors of the 5 hunger-strikers was given to the Juridical Authorities in Thessaloniki by their lawyers as part of a release application on medical grounds. According to the report, the hungerstrike “includes now most certainly the risk of causing irreversible health damages”.
November 13: Doctors and lawyers visited the hungerstrikers today. They report that their medical condition is now very dangerous, and can result in irreversible damage to their health. Fernando Perez’s situation remains critical and doctors fear he could fall into coma at any time.
November 11: After a dramatic 2 day thirst strike, the prisoners demands for slight improvements of their conditions were met, but they were forced on a 400 mile transport ordeal from Thessaloniki to a prison hospital in Athens. This was ordered by the Ministry of Justice and involved a massive police presence.
November 10: The hunger strikers, who have all been in hospital since Friday night, have today started to refuse liquids. This dramatic escalation in their protest was in response to a denial of their basic rights. When their lawywers arrived at the hospital they were surrounded and threatened by armed police who prevented them from entering. Also rumors that the hungerstrikers may be split up and sent to seperate prisons some miles away.
November 10: The other two ‘Saloniki 7’ prisoners started a seven day solidarity hunger strike which is due to end next Monday, Nov 17.
November 8: All 5 hungerstrikers are taken to hospital as their physical condition is becoming increasingly critical.
November 6: Fernando and Tsitsas went to Papanikolaou hospital, as a result of being on hunger-strike and went back to prison as they did not accept any food or medical treatment. Legal Team press release.
November 5: Carlos Martin has been returned to the prison after having spent 1 day in two different hospitals. His lawyer reports that on arrival to the hospital he was put in a chair with his hands tied behind his back, and was continually beaten and kicked by police throughout the night.
November 3: Carlos Martin Martinez was admited to hospital on Monday evening after 30 days without food.
How you can help
There is a constant need for money for Simon and the other prisoners inside. They also need to save money for bail (if they are offered it) and there are the legal fees to be paid. Cheques should be made payable to “ABC” and sent to:
London WC1N 3XX
Alternatively, get involved in the Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Group: contact ThessalonikiPrisoners [AT] yahoo.co.uk to join the email group.
Letters of support can also make all the difference to those imprisoned Knowing that others on the outside are thinking about you is one of the most vital things for remaining strong whilst on the inside. Please send letters to:
Kratoumeno [PRISONERS NAME]
NB: Letters which DO NOT have a return address on the ENVELOPE will not be delivered to prisoners (However, it does not have to be your own address). This new procedure applies to all prisoners.
You can also send letters of protest to the Greek Ambassador in the UK:
Or phone and fax: 020 7229 3850 Fax: 020 7229 7221
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