Supervisor of the Koridallos Prisons,
We, the accused for the 17th November case, are detained as you know, for more than 2 years now in the underground cells, in isolation and under special conditions of detention that are not previewed by any of the laws that you are dedicated to abide by and apply, conditions unchangeable even after the end of the first trial against us.
As we have denounced repeatedly, we, as well as various organizations and thousands of citizens, these special conditions are revengeful and only serve the prisoner’s moral and physical annihilation.
We have constantly asked for the abolition of the special detention and for conditions equal with those for all prisoners.
We have asked for the suffocative yard to be abolished, for the walls of the metal box to fall and for the removal of the unacceptable grid that seals it from above…
It took 2 years for those responsible to recognize that this 6 metres wide special yard, with the 9 metres high metal walls and the unbelievable temperatures, is a place of torments and to wonder how they could fix its nightmarish image. Yet, before the working groups got the time to begin the removal of parts of the walls that surround us, new working groups had rushed to cover the little pieces of revealed sky with dense metal grid that will replace them, excluding every visual way out.
The target, obviously are not the measures of control or display of control which are plenty in the spaces of our detention, with dozens of cameras, electronic eyes, multiplied guards, double volume of cement and iron and all this destined for a prison within a prison, but the showing of revengefulness towards the political prisoners. And this repairing attempt ends up to be a flout. We cannot accept this one.
We ask you to take your stand on all this.
We ask for the exclusion and the sensory isolation to stop.
And we wish to assure you that the means available to a prisoner in order to defend him/herself are few but crucial.
Koridallos Prisons, 6.9.2004
Statement by D. Koufontinas
For more than two years we have been under special detention conditions. It is a blatant violation of the law, of their law that explicitly prohibits the special categories of prisoners. They should tell us straight, that we are prisoners of a special category, political prisoners, their political rivals and that they will annihilate us.
We have used every means, especially during the last months. We have only one left, the ultimate, the hunger strike. We begin today, Saturday, with me as the first striker. Every week a new striker will be added.
We refuse our slow annihilation; we react against hypocrisy, flout and revengefulness.
Koridallos Prisons, 18.9.2004
The Citizen’s Advocate on special detention conditions
“The Citizen’s Advocate is willing to contribute to the discussion for sensible, safe detention respecting the principles of correctional treatment, as established by the Reformatory Code, the Constitution and the European Convention for Human Rights. We shall review the issues of the present detention conditions mentioned in our report, unless the transportation from the Koridallos Correctional Facility to the Larissa Correctional Facility does not take place.
In any case, the main question for the investigation of all the issues of the present report, which I would ask you to define, is on which provisions is the separation of the prisoners for the November 17th case from the rest of the detainees based, as well as their detention under special conditions. I would also require whether there exists any such act on behalf of the prison committee or any other body. I would ask for the handing to me of any such acts, according to article 4, paragraph 5 of law 3094/04.
I would appreciate your reply to the Citizen’s Advocate concerning the forthcoming transportation and the legal basis of the special detention conditions of the people sentenced for the November 17th case. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
More than 2000 citizens have signed a petition demanding the abolitions of the special detention conditions, the close-down of the “white cells”. Amongst them, tens of university professors, artists, journalists, trade unionists, elected local government members, students, working people.
The Greek Society for Human Rights
The Greek Society for Human Rights expresses its serious concern about the treatment of the detainees sentenced for the November 17th case. The above mentioned prisoners live in special detention conditions, the main feature of them being isolation, which embody special constitutional rights restraints.
The Society reminds that such discrimination treatment, since it is not regulated by any provision, is unconventional with the constitutional guarantees in force. Such treatment is under way for the present detainees as well as any individuals involved in cases of terrorism. Thus, a special category of prisoners-“enemies from within” is established, non-existing in the regulatory frame in force. However, if a case is so subjected, this means immediate restriction of rights… In this way, constitutional rights are offended. Such an offence does not make sense for anyone, not even for an individual sentenced for the most serious crime.
Liberal standards of correctional policy, which constitute clear directions of the laws in force, should be equal to all prisoners. Being subject to special detention conditions of a sentenced individual, on decision of a government, modifies the court’s sentence to the worse. The treatment of the sentenced individual as simply a terrorist and not a detainee who has rights and a chance of rehabilitation opposes the decade-long correctional rights and is unconventional with the state of justice of a strong democracy