Greece: Open letter from ex-prisoner Chrisovalantis Pouziaritis ahead of his appeal trial on 18.10.2013

My name is Chrisovalantis Pouziaritis, and I’m one of those arrested on December 6th, 2009—sad first anniversary of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos.

I was caught while walking out of the Thessaloniki university campus. Even though I had nothing incriminating on me (backpack, hood, etc.), two anti-riot squadrons pounced on me and started to beat me. Once they took all their hatred out on me, they transferred me to the Thessaloniki police headquarters, where I was charged with the well-known tactics of the Greek police—we all recall fabricated charges such as ‘shampoos turned into Molotovs’ (case of Marios Zervas), the ‘student in pajamas’ (detained after police planted on him a backpack containing Molotovs), the suspect taken into custody only for wearing ‘green shoes,’ or the ‘zardiniera case’ (when cops beat up Avgoustinos Dimitriou and later claimed he fell on his own on a flower stand)…

After my treatment by the police, the Greek Justice was next. In my trial, I was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months imprisonment and, naturally, once again the court felt that my own defense witnesses were less trustworthy than the cops who constructed a false indictment against me and dubbed me the ‘leader of anarchists’!

I stayed in prison for more than 18 months, until my request for interruption of serving sentence was finally granted, and so I was released under restrictive conditions in the summer of 2011.

Those who have seen firsthand the violence of these mechanisms, those who have experienced the cruelty of prison cells, those who resist the judicial arbitrariness and its horror are the ones who can understand me and stand by my side. I thank them in advance.

Chrisovalantis Pouziaritis

The appeal trial will take place on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 9am in the court of Thessaloniki.