Prisoners revolt around Greece
11 jails on revolt in Greece
(Ongoing story, please check back regularly for updates)
April 25, 12.05GMT Last night greek state officials were claiming to have "fully restored order" in the revolted prisons following the entering of MAT (Riot Police) units in the prisons of Korydallos (Athens) and Patras.
However, they now admit that at least 250 prisoners still stand on the rooftop of the Malandrino prison. At least 50 prisoners are still standing on the roofs of the Corfu and Alicarnassos (Crete) prisons. Solidarity demos are taking place across the country.
23.30GMT, April 24: At around 1.30am local time, a 120-strong motorcycle demo reached the Diavata Prison, around eight kilometres outside the city of Thessaloniki. The demonstrators and the prisoners are chanting slogans; the prisoners are throwing burning blankets out of the building.
In the morning of Monday 23/4, prisoners at the prison of Malandrino in Fokida, mainland Greece, revolted. The spark igniting the revolt was the beating of anarchist prisoner Yiannis Dimitrakis as well as the vicious, violent response of the guards to the protests staged by his co-prisoners.
Disgraceful holding conditions, lack of water, regular beatings, electronic surveillance and the extremely short times allowed at the yard comprise a grim reality for the Malandrino prisoners. The prison has seen plenty of revolts in the past...
The latest information from Malandrino says that the prisoners are in full control of the prison.
Meantime, information coming in right now (12:30pm GMT, April 24) indicates that prisoners at the Ayios Stefanos prison of Patras have also revolted; two hundred of them abstain from their daily meal. 340 prisoners at the prison of Tripoli have gone on hunger strike.
24.04, 15:45GMT: Unconfirmed reports on mainstream media claim a revolt has also broken out at Korydallos prison, the country's main prison located in Athens (latest info from Korydallos).
Yiannis Dimitrakis: in prison, arbitrariness rules
"Malandrino Prison is the biggest gumboil of the prison system, and it needs to break". 28-year old anarchist Yiannis Dimitrakis describes the contemporary inferno-like conditions at the Malandrino prison. The reports of his beating by a prison guard ignited revolts in 11 prisons across the country. In our phone conversation he denounced the conditions of his detention at Malandrino as the worse he has had to face up to now.He was originally under pre-trial detention in Korydallos, then Neapolis Lasithiou (Crete) and since the 22nd of December 2006 he was transferred to Malandrino.
**What are things like at the Malandrino prison?
**"Things have gone too far. All wards are now under our control, though not the administration buildings. A five-member committee met with the secretary general of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Panouris. The Riot Police have staged a psychological warfare against us".
**Many believed that the new-style prisons would make detention conditions a bit better...
** "New prisons like Malandrino create new tensions. There is complete isolation in the wards, 480 prisoners facing panopticism. Corridors are so narrow that you feel like loosing the sense of distance; outside yards are extremely small. There is a lack of communication with our families, caused by the separating glass. The prison is divided into ten wings; in reality what we are talking about is ten small isolating units. Arbitrariness rules here: the prison has turned into a private enterprise for some. Some entertainment units included in the original plan were quickly turned into extra cells. The building has no concrete water or sewage plan. The prison was built on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere and up to this day there are serious problems in both its water and sewage systems".
**What is communication with the outside world like?
**"Isolation amplifies the fact that nothing goes to the outside. This morning TV crews arrived, only to leave in the evening. If someone's family wants to visit they will have to travel for four hours, only for a 30' visit. Some can only visit once every two months. Geographical distance makes the communication of prisoners with lawyers impossible. They hold us here like soulless bodies, they just feed us until one day they will simply announce that our sentence is served".
Solidarity action outside the residency of the greek president: On the night of the revolt, 150 anarchists gathered outside the house of the greek president, chanting solidarity slogans for the prisoners.
On the same night, anarchists gathered spontaneously in Thessaloniki, distributing texts, spray-painting and chanting slogans.
The committee for prisoner rights has called for a solidarity demo tonight, April 24, 7pm at Omonia square in Athens.