November 19, 2020 –
Based on the coronavirus tests carried out, 10% resulted positive to the virus. Not everyone was tested, only 150 prisoners and prison staff.
We have 10 people locked up in 20 square metre units which should normally contain 5, so are unable to take care of our personal hygiene. Those who tested positive to the virus are in here with us. Without supplying us with bleach, detergents and antiseptics to clean the cells. While the prison administration should supply this, the governor’s response is that there is no money because there are no funds available from the ministry. We haven’t been given any face masks or disposable gloves.
We can’t wash our clothes. We do not have access to the washing machines. We can’t give clothes out to our relatives to clean them for us, because the ministry prohibits bringing anything to the visiting hall from outside due to the coronavirus. There is nothing we can do against the pandemic. They have closed everything, the whole prison is closed down. They only let us have hot water once a day, which no more than ten people can bath with. We have no water heaters in the cells for hot water to meet our needs.
In Diavata, as in the other Greek prisons, the main method for facing the pandemic inside them seems to be focused on prevention of the virus entering, mainly through the prohibition of basic prison functions, and, clearly, not through health shielding.
We have no medicines (pills, syrups, vitamins, antibiotics). They keep us locked up in units for 15 days. Our radiators don’t work, people catch colds and added to that we are forced to keep the windows open to air the cells. The situation is impossible for human survival in the prisons.
Today the General Secretary for the anticrime politics of the Ministry of civil protection, Sofia Nikolaou, visited the prison as a part of a communication spectacle, without effectively engaging in anything and with no intention of changing anything for the better for us.
Immediate decongestion of the prisons
Release of prisoners with residual sentences of up to six months, also those with minor disciplinary offences
Release of elderly prisoners and vulnerable groups with underlying illnesses
Immediate release of those on trial for minor offences
Reduction of suspension limits to 2/5 of the sentence with beneficiary prison sentences or to 1/3 of the effective imprisonment time as for previous decongestion measures and to 1/5 of the sentence with partial beneficial sentences of reclusion throughout the health crisis
Prisoners who can’t be released should be transferred to adequate structures with safety measures
Prison staff should arrive an hour earlier in order to undergo periodical rapid checks at every shift
Suspension of sentence for prisoners awaiting second-grade trial and with trials that have been postponed for more than six months
No custodial measures for minor offences and for drug addicts
Provision of sanitary material (antiseptics, face masks, disposable gloves) for all prisoners
Thorough inspections and quarantine measures for every kind of compulsory custodial measure
Careful disinfection of all material coming into the prisons
If none of this happens and the conditions of detention don’t change, we, the prisoners of the Diavata prison, will proceed with mobilizations.
Prisoners of the Diavata prison
Translated by act for freedom now!