November 19, 2020
From Radical Glasgow (UK)

      We can never give enough publicity to the real conditions in prisons across the world, there can be no civilised method of imprisoning people, the whole idea of incarceration of humans is inhumane and a barbaric aspect of a degraded human mind.  Added to the sadistic process of locking people up in cages, is the brutal arbitrary violence, gross overcrowding and total lack of human duty of care, lack necessary facilities, and inadequate medical treatment, even more so during this pandemic.
    Of course the state and its mouthpieces will always paint the opposite picture, first demonising the individuals that happen to get sucked into their loaded judicial system and end up incarcerate in these cages of repression. Secondly, they will put out propaganda trying to create the illusion that life in their cages is one of ease, comfort, with modern facilities and due care of prisoners, and lots of programs to make those unfortunate individuals, “better people”. We are also fed, via the media a series of “entertainment” programs showing prisons as places of calm and camaraderie between prisons and their cage keepers, citadels of of dialogue and compassion, the old UK program of “Porridge” springs to mind. We have to keep shouting the truth about these inhumane cages and the true reason for their existence, they are there to protect the powerful and wealthy privileged parasites, who hold the reins of power in this economic system, and control all aspects of our lives. Prisons must be crushed and the parasite class abolished before human dignity can flourish.

Greece :A letter from Polykarpos Georgiadis about the situation in the Greek prisons
         In recent months the far right neoliberal government has launched a tempest of propaganda on prisons through the controlled media aimed at creating a deformed narrative on the prison situation, thereby favouring a methodical abolition of the rights conquered with the blood of the prisoners themselves. These are not rights conferred by some merciful government but conquests that were won through hard struggles, revolts, torture, hunger strikes, privations.
        In this propaganda campaign, the prisons are being presented almost as places of rest and leisure, with luxury cells and services, in the same way that the junta of the colonels presented the places of confinement. They were ridiculous to the point that they even indicated kettles, small speakers, USBs with music and films, etc. as luxury articles. But instead of calling up the various chiefs of the prison guards such as Aravantinos and the various robocops, who give a false image of prisons, journalists should make the effort to go into the prison wings themselves to see the real conditions of life in person. Of course the image shown by the media is distorted and misleading. The reality is completely different. Thousands of people are literally crammed up in disgusting buildings, in inhuman shameful conditions of detention. Obviously, this is nothing new for Greek prisons. However, in the current conditions of pandemic the situation is even more dreadful. Not only are the conditions of detention still deplorable, but no substantial health measures have been adopted to protect the health of prisoners, who continue to be piled into cells that are becoming the antechambers of coffins. The prisons are filling up each day more and more and are on the verge of collapse, at the same time as the government – through the ever-available media – are publicizing a “spectacular fall in criminal delinquency”.
        How do you explain this paradox: reducing criminality and filling up the prisons. And this is happening in Greece, whereas even authoritarian regimes have decongested their prisons, releasing thousands of prisoners. At the same time the government is making a fool of prisoners by publishing COVID-19 instructions and advising them not to have gatherings! In the Greek prisons, instead of adopting basic health measures, the ministry of public order prefers prohibitions and the imposition of repressive measures that make prisoners’ lives even more difficult. All permits have been cancelled, visits with third parties abolished and days for closed visits have been reduced instead of increasing them to avoid crowding of relatives and friends in waiting areas. The example of Corfu’s jails is absolutely indicative. Instead of taking health measures, the authorities preferred to block prisoners, sentencing them to death while waiting for EODY [national organization of prevention and public health] to wake up after a week and proceed with prescribed tests.
       This policy is obviously murderous and some have chosen the role of hangman for themselves. In the face of these destructive and inhuman conditions it is necessary, inside and outside the prison hells, to develop a wide movement of solidarity that demands the immediate decongestion of prisons, the provision of dignified conditions of life, and medical care as well as visits by doctors to check (and not the Ministry of Public Order) measures taken to protect the prisoners’ health, doing mass testing, the free administration of antiseptics and face masks, the immediate lifting of repressive measures and their replacement with aequate health measures against the pandemic.
       P.S. 1. Shortly before publication of this text, new repressive measures were announced by the ministry, clearly revealing the inhumanity and depravation of its leader, M. Chrysochoidis. So, all visits have been cancelled indefinitely, thus intensifying the social and family isolation of prisoners; all transfers to hospitals for health reasons have been suspended, thus endangering the very lives of prisoners and, finally, all educational services and therapeutic activities have been stopped. The only certainty is that they want us dead. But, you reap what you sow – who sows wind reaps a tempest.
        P.S. 2. I send my solidarity to comrade Costas Sakkas who started a hunger strike on 9th November demanding his transfer to Korydallos for reasons of study.
Polykarpos Georgiadis
Prison of Larissa

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