Free the Saloniki 7!
We promise: until Simon is free, there will be no peace for this second rate publicity seeker, David Blaine.
Mr Blaine is free to leave his box any time he chooses, but an innocent Briton remains incarcerated abroad, framed up, beaten up and banged up.
As Blaine starves himself for financial gain, seven innocent men are starving for their freedom.
Next year Greece hosts the Olympics. They want the world to marvel at the magic of their Athenian ideal but behind the smoke and mirrors lie political prisoners in Diavatas prison, imprisoned because they protested at the EU's racist asylum policies.
Simon, a graphic designer from Basildon in Essex, was unlucky enough to fall to the ground when one of Greece's riot squads baton charged their demonstration against the EU summit in Thessaloniki on Saturday 21st June.
He was beaten until he was bloody and needed stitches to the head. To add incarceration to injury, police replaced the blue rucksack he had been photographed wearing, with three black rucksacks filled with weapons and Molotov Cocktails. The entire incident was captured on film by ET3 - Greek national TV.
So why have all the prisoners been denied bail?
The Greek public have seen the TV images of police putting a hammer and an axe into a black rucksack filled with molotov cocktails and depositing it at Simon's feet. They have seen the footage of Simon surrounded by police officers with blood pouring down his face, and the photos of Simon wearing his own BLUE rucksack being beaten by the officers.
So why haven't these pictures been shown by the British media?
Now you see them now you don't
In the TV footage, there are NO bags around Simon. Minutes later, three black bags are placed beside him by police who have walked up from further down the street. This is the only evidence the police have submitted against Simon.
On the strength of it, Simon's Greek lawyers have issued two appeals demanding the charges be dropped. Both have been turned down with the judges not even bothering to look at the video or photographic evidence.
Refused bail, all seven prisoners have languished in a maximum security Greek prison and are facing sentences of up to 25 years if convicted. All of them have been fitted up. One, Kastro, a Syrian living in Crete for over 18 years, is facing torture & persecution if he is deported back to Syria. Two weeks ago, http://indymedia.org.uk/Kastro, an artist and leader of the immigrants union in Crete, began a hunger strike against his threatened deportation.
Because of this, Simon says he has no option but to go on hunger strike. We have no option but to support him by any means necessary.
1. Further information can be received by contacting
email@example.com or phoning 07765 615 841
2. Footage of Simon’s arrest and the police fabricating evidence is available from
Thessaloniki Prisoners Solidarity Group. Contact us for copies on CD / DVD/ VHS
tape. Alternatively you can view and download the footage from the Italian Indymedia
website at: http://italy.indymedia.org/uploads/simon.avi
Photos of today’s action on the South Bank are available by contacting
4. Simon shares a cell with 9 other prisoners, in temperatures reaching 40 degrees.
He has already been refused bail twice (as well as the appeals against the charges)
and now awaits the outcome of a fresh appeal for bail.
5. Should the prisoners appeal be turned down, they each face between 12-18 months
on remand until they get the opportunity of a full trial.
6. Simon can receive letters & paperback books. We urge people send him their
solidarity & support. Address:
Kratoumeno Simon Chapman, Dikastikes Fylakes Diavaton
T.K 540 12, Thessaloniki, GREECE
THESSALONIKI PRISONERS SOLIDARITY GROUP