Greek prisons: Spyros Dravilas has ended his hunger strike

‘Solidarity with Spyros Dravilas, on hunger strike since 4/2 for a breath of freedom’ (banner at Dimarhiou square in the city of Veria)

“[…] Criminal Justice is not blind. If a human identity could be attributed to it, this would be none other than vengefulness. Spyros Dravilas is convicted and serves prison term as the man who first landed a helicopter at Koridallos prison [in June 2006], leading two prisoners — Vassilis Palaiokostas [who remains a fugitive after another helicopter prison escape] and Alket Rizai [who was recaptured in November 2009] — to freedom. Spyros denies the ‘accusations’ but even if he was only suspected of committing such a splendidly noble act, this sole fact is enough. It’s enough in order to interpret the vengeful fury of the police and judicial authorities against him. It’s enough in order to vindicate the support and solidarity from all those who smiled that summer afternoon in 2006, realizing that ultimately nothing is impossible…”
Anastasios Theofilou, Ε1 wing, Domokos prison, 7.2.2013

On February 26th, 2013, prisoner in struggle Spyros Dravilas was transferred from Domokos shithole to the ‘hospital’ of Koridallos prison, on his 22nd day of hunger strike.

On March 5th, while Spyros’ weight had dropped to 53 kgs and his blood sugar was 49, the trial date for the 2007 bank robbery in Nafplion was finally set for the 16th of May 2013. Thus, Spyros terminated his hunger strike on the 29th day, since he has now reached his goal.

It is reminded that Spyros denies all charges ahead of this court proceeding. However, the official excuse of the prison prosecutor in denying him his days of leave was that this particular trial was still pending. Even if he is convicted in court, he will already have completed by then the limit provided by law for being granted the next temporary leave (or even his conditional release) from prison. What’s more, if Spyros hadn’t conducted this hunger strike, the case would have remained an accusatory brief forgotten in the drawers of some investigating judge, as happens with dozens of other case files that hold hostage so many prisoners who await trials for years. Also, if friends and comrades had not carried out solidarity actions across Greece and the world (e.g. in Chile, Belgium), his situation would not have been heard beyond the prison walls.