Tag Archive | Marios Seisidis

Updates on anarchist prisoners in Greece (November 2, 2010)

From Culmine (November 2, 2010) via Indymedia Barcelona (November 2, 2010):

Ilias Nikolau is free

Comrade Ilias Nikolau, after submitting a petition for release during his October 21 hearing at the court of appeals, has been freed on 15,000 euros bail. Nikolau was arrested on January 13, 2009 and charged with planting an incendiary device at the Evosmos police station in Thessaloniki. On December 4, 2009, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Keep in mind that Nikolau and three other comrades are scheduled for yet another trial. In November 2007, Vangelis Botzatzis was arrested in Thessaloniki and charged with a number of arsons. Arrest warrants were also issued for three of Botzatzis’ comrades—Nikolau, Costas Halazas, and Dimitra Sirianou—and all three went into hiding. Botzatzis was released on probation in October 2008, while his three comrades—after spending almost a year underground—showed up at a police station on November 14, 2008 (in the middle of weeks of massive protest in Greek prisons), accompanied by hundreds of people showing solidarity. The next day, all three were released pending trial on 2000 euros bail each, but Nikolau fell into the enemy’s hands for the Evosmos arson two months later.

Another comrade in prison

In the early morning of October 13, a van belonging to the Public Power Corporation (DEI) was torched in downtown Thessaloniki using an incendiary device made out of camping gas canisters, gasoline, and a fuse. The vehicle was completely incinerated, but 19-year-old comrade Yiannis Skouloudis was arrested “in flagrante delicto” (“caught red-handed”). That very morning, the same police-media operation we’ve seen so many times began: Pigs raided the homes of comrades and family members, seizing computers, flash drives, and anarchist literature, while reporters celebrated the authorities’ “resounding success.” But the prosecutors and judges didn’t stop there. According to them, “there must be an organization,” so four arrest warrants were issued the next day. Four comrades, ranging in age from 19 to 22, went into hiding. On Friday, October 15, people assembled in solidarity in front of the courthouse where Skouloudis was being arraigned. Minor clashes broke out between comrades and police inside and outside the courthouse, with injuries on both sides (including to Skouloudis’ mother). The courthouse and a nearby police van had windows broken. On Monday, October 18, Skouloudis appeared before a judge and took responsibility for the DEI van arson, but he refused to testify about anything else. The next morning, he was transferred to the Avlona Special Detention Center for Minors, where Panayiotis Masouras is currently locked up on charges stemming from the Fire Cells Conspiracy case.

The Revolutionary Struggle case

For quite some time, the Revolutionary Struggle case has been the hands of prosecutor Constantinos Baltas, who is also handling the Fire Cells Conspiracy case and seems intent on advancing his career by “fighting terrorism.” In recent weeks, he has called some 45 witnesses to give depositions. Most of the witnesses are related to the case through fingerprints found in the homes of the six defendants (Constantinos “Costas” Gournas, Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis, Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, Christoforos Kortesis, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, and Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos) and anarchist Lambros Fountas, who was killed by police in March. Some of the witnesses have already passed through Baltas’ office (and according to them, the depositions were mostly about the prosecutor attempting to verify their psycho-socio-political profile), while others still have appointments pending. Two comrades have refused to show up entirely, and they published open letters (here and here) explaining their decisions, which thus far haven’t yielded any negative repercussions. However, four people were shocked to learn that they weren’t being called as witnesses but as “members of Revolutionary Struggle.” One is Gournas’ partner Maria Beraha, who is the mother of his 22-month-old twins, while another is well-known anarchist Nikos Malapanis, who is friends with some of the defendants. This obvious attempt to criminalize the milieu of family and friends was met with a collective response on November 1, when some 200 people showed up outside the courthouse to shout slogans in solidarity with the prisoners. Meanwhile, Beraha and Malapanis have asked for extensions and will be deposed on November 11.

The Fire Cells Conspiracy case

On October 27, more or less six months after her arrest, Konstantina “Nina” Karakatsani appeared at the Athens court of appeals. According to Greek law, after a prisoner spends six months in preventive detention, a committee of appellate court judges has to decide whether or not to extend the detention. A small group of comrades and family was there to greet Karakatsani with slogans of solidarity. There was some jostling and scuffling with riot police, who were in charge of pushing people on to the sidewalk. Four people were arrested, two of whom were released the following day (mostly with “nuisance” charges like “insulting an officer” and “resisting authority”). When members of the Anti-Terrorist Squad escorted Karakatsani from the courthouse to the transport van, those who were there could see her smiling, which was the best possible response to our greetings and slogans. Despite the fact that the judges’ decision (whether positive or negative) always takes a few days, and even the lawyers aren’t notified on the same day as the court, a maggot reporter from the most popular news blog in Greece immediately posted a story that “it has been decided to extend Konstantina Karakatsani’s preventive detention for another six months.” In any case, the trial of the case’s three (for now) defendants (Karakatsani, Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis, and Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras) will most likely take place in January 2011, and not in two weeks as was previously expected.

Tuberculosis epidemic in Kerkyra Prison

A tuberculosis epidemic broke out two weeks ago in Kerkyra Prison, which is located on the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea. Polykarpos Georgiadis is one of the prisoners currently locked up at Kerkyra. Many prisoners have been infected and brought to the hospital. The causes of the epidemic are obvious: The infected inmates weren’t quarantined; the prison administration decided to “recycle” protective surgical masks, thus spreading the infection, instead of throwing them out after a single use; and the lack of hygiene and medical attention, which is symptomatic of all Greek prisons, has reached monstrous proportions at Kerkyra. Kerkyra was built by the English at the beginning of the 19th century, and it is the oldest prison in Greece. It might even be the oldest prison in Europe. It was constructed in the form of a panopticon, and its solitary confinement cells are underground, windowless, narrow, and low-ceilinged, with walls covered in mold from the humidity. After spending time in Kerkyra’s basement punishment cells, more than a few prisoners have “gone crazy” and committed suicide.

Updates to the prisoner list

Ilias Nikolau can be removed from the list published two weeks ago.

The new address for Costas Gournas, who was finally transferred closer to his family in Athens after a successful 23-day hunger strike, is:

Constantinos “Costas” Gournas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

The two comrades charged with the Psachna bank robbery need to be added to the list:

Alexandros Kosivas
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Michalis Traikapis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Also, the comrade who took responsibility for torching the DEI van needs to be added:

Yiannis Skouloudis
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
T.K. 19011
Avlona, Attica
Greece

Still missing are the addresses of the two comrades charged with the August bank robbery on the island of Rhodes. Also, arrest warrants are currently in effect for 11 people from the anarchist milieu: five for the Fire Cells Conspiracy case; four considered by the authorities to be Yiannis Skouloudis’ accomplices; plus Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, who are accused of participating in the same bank robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis and have been at large since 2006 (with a price on their heads).

Updated list of anti-authoritarian and anarchist prisoners in Greece

From A Las Barricadas (October 15, 2010):

The mailing addresses of the prisons where our comrades are being held are written in Greek, but with Latin letters in order to make it easier for those showing solidarity from other countries to send letters and postcards. The way they’re written should make them understandable to Greek postal employees and civil servants.

Information about particular cases, as well as letters from many of the prisoners, have been translated into Spanish and English and can be found at various websites. Accordingly, this list lays the groundwork for the more frequent publication of news, letters, and updates regarding our comrades. The prisoners themselves are being transferred frequently. Therefore, this list will continue to be updated as needed.

It should be pointed out that right now three of the comrades charged in the Revolutionary Struggle case (Constantinos “Costas” Gournas, Christoforos Kortesis, and Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos) are in Korydallos Prison, but it’s not known whether they will be transferred together to the same prisons in the future. Additionally, Evangelos “Vangelis” Pallis—after he was found seriously wounded (with a glass shard stuck in his carotid artery) in his cell at Trikala Prison over a month ago—is currently in an Athens hospital, and his condition is improving. He is able to speak with the aid of an appliance that had to be implanted. Also missing from the list are the addresses for comrades Alexandros Kosivas and Michalis Traikapis, who are charged with a bank robbery in Psachna, and another two people (one of whom is Thodoris Delis) arrested in Rhodes this past summer.

Konstantina Karakatsani
Katastima Kratisis Ginaikon Eleona Thivon
T.K. 32200
Elaionas Thebes
Greece

Karakatsani is charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. A warrant was issued for her arrest on September 25, 2009, and she was finally caught on April 22, 2010.

Panayiota “Pola” Roupa
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon
Korydallos
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Roupa was arrested with five other comrades on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, she admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter co-written with Constantinos “Costas” Gournas and Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis. On July 24 she gave birth to her and Maziotis’ son Lambros-Victor.

Panayiotis “Takis” Masouras
Eidiko Katastima Kratisis Neon Avlona
T.K. 19011
Avlona, Attica
Greece

Masouras was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy. He has been in a juvenile facility since the beginning of his imprisonment.

Harilaos “Haris” Hatzimichelakis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Hatzimichelakis was arrested on September 23, 2009 and charged with participating in the Fire Cells Conspiracy.

Alfredo Bonanno
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

At 73 years of age, Alfredo might be the oldest prisoner in the entire country. He was arrested with Christos Stratigopoulos in Trikala on October 1, 2009 and charged with being an “accessory to a felony” for his alleged role in a bank robbery. His trial is scheduled for November 22.

Christos Stratigopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Arrested together with Alfredo Bonanno, Stratigopoulos has taken full responsibility for the October 1, 2009 armed robbery in Trikala. His trial is scheduled for November 22.

Yiannis Dimitrakis
Filakes Domokou
T.K. 35010 Domokos
Phthiotis
Greece

Dimitrakis was arrested on January 16, 2006 after being seriously wounded by police bullets during a bank robbery in downtown Athens. Meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued for three comrades alleged to be his accomplices. Two of them, Marios Seisidis and Grigoris Tsironis, remain at large. The third, Symeon “Simos” Seisidis, was arrested on May 3, 2010. In June 2007, Dimitrakis was sentenced to 35-and-a-half years in prison. His final appeal opportunity was recently postponed for the second time, from April 28, 2010 to December 6, 2010.

Ilias Nikolau
Agrotiki Filaki Kassandras
T.K. 63077
Kassandreia Chalkidiki
Greece

Nikolau was arrested on January 13, 2009 and charged with planting an incendiary device at the Evosmos police station in Thessaloniki. On December 4, 2009, he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Polykarpos Georgiadis
Kleisti Filaki Kerkiras
T.K. 49100 Kerkyra
Greece

Georgiadis was arrested in Thessaloniki at the end of August 2008 and charged with the kidnapping of industrialist Giorgos Mylonas, which took place earlier that summer. In February 2010, he and comrade Vangelis Chrysochoidis were each sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison.

Vangelis Chrysochoidis
Dikastiki Filaki Komotinis
T.K. 69100
Komotini
Greece

Chrysochoidis was arrested on the same day as Polykarpos Georgiadis and received an identical sentence.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Stathopoulos
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Stathopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Constantinos “Costas” Gournas
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Gournas was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis and Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter.

Christoforos Kortesis
Dikastiki Filaki Korinthou
T.K. 20100 Corinth
Greece

Kortesis was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges.

Sarantos Nikitopoulos
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Nikitopoulos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. He denies all the charges. He and Maziotis are being held in a special wing of Korydallos along with certain prisoners from the November 17 leftist urban guerrilla group.

Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-ST pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Maziotis was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Constantinos “Costas” Gournas and Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter.

Evangelos “Vangelis” Pallis
Kleisti Filaki Trikalon
T.K. 42100 Trikala
Greece

Pallis is an “ordinary” prisoner who was “politicized” in prison. He has been part of the struggle inside prisons for many years. His letters and other writings often appear in anarchist publications.

Aris Seirinidis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou-A pteryga
T.K. 18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

Seirinidis was arrested in Athens on May 3, 2010 (the same day as Symeon “Simos” Seisidis) during a random police identity check and initially charged with “weapons possession” (he was carrying a handgun) and “resisting arrest.” Using his DNA sample as the sole piece of evidence, he was later charged with a police shooting that happened last year.

Symeon “Simos” Seisidis
Nosokomeio Kratoumenon Koridallou
T.K.18110 Korydallos
Athens
Greece

A warrant was issued for comrade Seisidis’ arrest on January 16, 2006. He is being charged with the same robbery as Yiannis Dimitrakis. Seisidis was shot by police during his arrest on May 3 and suffered a serious injury to his leg, which later had to be amputated. He is currently in the prison hospital at Korydallos. In accordance with exemplary Greek judicial tradition, which burdens those at large with every possible unresolved “juicy case,” Seisidis is now being charged with a series of crimes including the two-year-old murder of a guard. However, in Seisidis’ case, the legal surrealism goes even further. Since the law doesn’t allow anyone to be tried for a felony in absentia, Seisidis (when he was still at large) was tried only for his alleged misdemeanor participation in the January 16, 2006 bank robbery. And for that misdemeanor he was given seven-and-a-half years in prison. The (rhetorical) question is: How could he be sentenced for a misdemeanor without the court recognizing his “guilt” for felony participation in said robbery?

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