Note: 10/4/20, Paranesti detention centre, police violently suppressed a hunger strike. Migrant prisoners in detention centers in Greece are imprisoned because of their status or nationality. They have committed no crime. Still, pre-removal detention centres have the same rules as prisons. The detained are allowed half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening to go out of their rooms, and are not allowed visits from family members.
Following our communication by phone with many migrant prisoners in the Paranesti Detention Center, we were informed of the following events that took place on Friday 3rd of April.
In the aforementioned camp there are 6 wings in which are places 7 to 8 containers, and in each one are cramped together 15 persons. The living conditions are terrible and the people are lacking basic resources for survival.
Under conditions of life threatening detention, the authorities on top of this, ceased to accept any asylum claims a month ago and they ordered confinement due to the corona virus. As a result the migrants were confined inside the containers without any hope of freedom. No information was given to them about the reasons they were quarantined, about what is going on outside or even what they should be doing to protect themselves from the virus.
In a climate of general upheaval and uncertainty, on Friday 3rd of April they decided to react initially regarding the terrible food that they are given and then, in coordination, 500 to 600 people in all 6 wings refused the meals. They made known to the Administration the reasons of their mobilization and the authorities reacted immediately telling them their demands would be met and convincing them to accept the food temporarily.
Later the same day they were given the same inedible food to eat and so, realizing the intentions of the Guards, they decided to declare hunger strike not only for the meals but also demanding to be informed about the health situation and the reasons for their isolation.
The managers of the concentration camp, as true heirs of their fascist predecessors, locked up the migrants inside the containers, aiming to isolate and terrorize them so as to stop their mobilization. Moreover, as punishment they cut the supply of food in the super market.
What followed is worthy of the Nazi tradition in the concentration camps. After keeping them imprisoned for hours inside the containers, around 9 pm the riot squad came along with the OPKE (heavily armed units) cops and 2 vans full of fully armed cops. Savage beatings followed with the repression forces opening the doors of the containers one by one and dragging out of them the migrants one by one beating them up. They would enter the containers, 6-7 cops together beating indiscriminately everyone in their sight. Then they would drag them outside beating them on the head, the legs, the body and wherever their batons would strike. The migrants say that even tasers were used against them.
The whole operation lasted 2 to 3 hours, and when the cops took our all their fury, they decided to elaborate their torture, by keeping some migrants outside on the containers in the cold until the middle of the night, while locking others inside.
Many of the migrants were badly hurt and taken the next day to hospital, some were punitively transferred to other detention centers while some were taken to the cells of police stations. Some were transferred to the nearest clinics for their wounds. In this way they dispersed them, isolating them so as to not have any contact between them and so as to silence the events.
This violence, the repression against hunger striker migrants should not pass!
We don’t forget, we don’t forgive.
Bastards of the police, we are drops of the coming storm.