On Sunday June 14, we staged a demonstration outside the Petrou Ralli detention center in support of the detained women who began a hunger strike on June 9, demanding improved quality of food. (https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1605693/ ).

Around sixty of us gathered spontaneously at 18.30pm and started marching along Petrou Ralli towards the entrance of the detention center, enthusiastically shouting slogans and holding banners translated into five languages (Greek, English, Arabic, Russian and Farsi). When we arrived in front of the facility, we were able to see the prisoners and together we all started chanting. From the loudspeaker came slogans and rebel songs in Farsi and Arabic, and an update was also given in Farsi about the latest events in Victoria Square. The women and men on the inside were deeply moved. But after a quarter of an hour, the detainees were all rounded up and locked back inside the cells, as is the standard practice during mobilizations like this, so we were unable to maintain contact. Yet despite the arrival of ten Delta cops (the first time we have seen this force at Petrou Ralli), we remained where we were, chanting. Having successfully achieved our goal of solidarity, we then left. Later the same evening, after the prisoners had been locked away, there was an outpouring of emotion, with many of the detained women screaming and one of the hunger strikers collapsing due to low blood sugar. She was urgently transferred to the hospital and the development led the four other women to end their strike. The woman who was hospitalised nonetheless continued her hunger strike alone until Tuesday June 16.

At the same time, between 140 and 150 detained men (numbers unconfirmed) began their own hunger strike on Monday June, demanding their release or transfer to a camp (http://invisibleradio.blackblogs.org/en/ see: Message from Petrou Ralli). Most ended their strike during the weekend of June 19/20, after fervent efforts and guarantees on the part of the detention center manager who stated that those wanted to go to a camp would be relocated within a few days. Around 15 of the male detainees have since been transferred to an unknown location.

On June 23 we were informed that 3 men from D4 wing of the 2nd floor were continuing the hunger strike - B.G. (Congo), M.A. (Senegal) and S.A.(Iran). M.A. from Senegal has been on a hunger and thirst strike from the outset and was on June 26 taken to the hospital in a serious condition. Meanwhile, in the sick men's wing on the third floor, A.J. from Pakistan was striking for the 8th day. It is unclear if and how many may be continuing the hunger strike in the other wings. On the night of June 22, a young man from Egypt attempted to hang himself on the 2nd floor. Thanks to the cries of his fellow prisoners, the officers caught him at the last moment and cut the ropes. Needless to say, the situation is tragic.

The passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons!

No struggle is in vain, except that not fought...

No one is illegal, no one is invisible

Immediate release for all detainees!


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