5,000 prisoners on hunger strike across greece in demand for reforms

All 21 Greek prisons are in the grip of prisoners 3-stage campaign in demand of 45-point reform. As part of the protest, more than 5,000 inmates are now on hunger strike.

As of Monday the 3rd of November the totality of prison across greece are under a 3-stage campaign in demand of a 45-point reform, asking amongst other things for abolition of all juvenile prisons, greater freedoms, reduction of prison service and better conditions. The first stage of the prisoners struggle in which 8,000 out of 15,000 inmates took part consisted of refusing food from the prison catering. On Friday the 7, 1,000 of them upgraded to the second stage of the campaign by going on hunger strike. The number of the hunger strikers today (11/7/08) is 5,120, 17 of whom have sewn their mouths. The third stage of the campaign, general uprising, looms over the prison establishment as outside the prisons solidarity campaigns are filling the streets of the greek cities with protest marches, concerts and various forms of direct action.

The main 16 demands by the prisoners are as follows

WE DEMAND:

1. Abolition of disciplinary charges. Modification of the Penitentiary Code's articles 68, 69, 70, 71. In any case, the disciplinary charges must be removed after served, and not accumulated nor taken into consideration when it comes to days off, work, education and discharge under conditions after they are served.
2. Reduction of the sentence limit for discharge under conditions, from 3/5 to the 3/7 of the sentence time. Immediate abolishment of the anti-constitutional treaty that increased up to the 4/5 of crimes related to drugs.
3. Once and for all 3 year reduction of all prices, to make easier the relieve of over-crowding of prisons. Rejection of the new Panoptic prisons, built isolated from the urban social body.
4. Abolition of all juvenile prisons. Adoption of open structures to take care of and protect the teenagers and youth.
5. Reduction of sentence limit of 25 years of continuous detention. Reduction of the minimum detention time to be discharged under conditions to 12 years from 16 that it is today, according to european legislature.
6. Immediate and without exceptions application of days-off, suspensions, and other benefits of the law, reduction of the minimal sentence time limits. Increase the number of days-off to 60 for those that have a right to 5 days and to 96 for those with a right to 8.
7. To end the over-use of pre-trial detentions and reduce the time limit to 12 months.
8. The para-judicial racket is known for its hysteria of the last 8 years, leading to revengeful killing sentences. We as for proportionate sentences and wide application of the measure of suspension and discharge under conditions.
9. Full, permanent and 24 hour medical treatment and respect to the patients. Creation and improvement of adequate hygiene spaces (baths and toilets). Immediate integration of the Korydallos prison psychiatric and medical clinic to the National Health System, with new aisles for women and juveniles, that lack now. Immediate transportation of patients to public hospitals with ambulances and not in police vehicles, tied up with their hands behind their back.
10. To be provided the right in beneficial work payment, education, second chance schools, technical workshops and participation in diverse similar programmes, to all prisoners proportionate and without any discrimination. To be given educational days-off, for all prisoners, that meet with the criteria and terms to study outside prison and for all levels of education and technical skills learning. Substantial amplification of withdrawal projects to all prisons.
11. Abolition of the prison no-go zone. Free access for social and political institutions, Lawyers Associations, Hellenic Medical Association and EINAP, organizations for human rights, NGOs and international organizations. Free circulation of political and educative press, with no exceptions.
12. Alternative forms of detention, amplification of agricultural prisons and of the institution of semi-free sentence as well as community service.
13. Amplification of the institution of free visits in humane conditions with respect to the personality and dignity of the prisoners and the visitors. Private place to meet with our companion.
14. Work and access to creative activities for all of us. Beneficial account of days of work in the sentence.
15. Right to selection of serving the sentence in their country of origin, for the prisoners from other countries, once and if they wish.
16. Humane transport conditions with improvement of the room in the preposterous transportation means of the greek police. More stops, improvement of the detention room in the miserable "Metagogon" 'transfer prison' and faster transfer to the destination prisons.

DEMANDS OF THE WOMEN PRISONERS AT ELEONAS, THIVA PRISON:

On the occasion of the third-world life conditions inside this establishment but also our treatment by the totality of the ministry of justice services, and more precisely: Inexistent medical-pharmaceutical supply. Few, to even inexistent hygiene supply (without any right to a private purchase). Inexistent basic hygiene (no warm water). Inexistent social services and care. Preposterous food, because of luck of supplies. Even first need stuff is an unknown word here. Racist treatment of the prisoners when it comes to days-off and suspensions. Injust treatment of sentence accounts for suspension proportionate to the offence (2/5, 3/5 etc). Vast delays when it comes to bringing the case to the courthouse and especially the court of appeals. The peculiar stiffness of the persons judging us, despite the recommendations they have received. The inexistent second chance we are all waiting for and most of us have a right on it, but are never given. We decided to abstain from prison food commons from 03/11/2008 until proportionate measures are taken in regards to all the above. We expect your understanding.