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“Kafka’s Hell” – An open letter from Athena Tsakalou (April 1st, 2015)

If the judicial authorities have the power to make the world succumb to their laws and what’s more to the overcoming of laws, this doesn’t prove that quality prevails, but rather that they can turn the world into Kafkaesque hell.

There are certain occurrences that make you stand before yourself and ask yourself, what is it that gives meaning to life? What is it that will make you continue to believe that it’s truly worth walking on earth?

Today, such an occurrence also happened to me.

Today, after 30 days in pretrial detention, I received the decision on my conditional release. Tomorrow morning, I could pass through the prison door and leave. I won’t do it. I won’t do it because I believe that a human is meant to do everything for another human; that’s the beauty of them. I cannot feel any joy for my own release from prison, so long as the unjust and vindictive remand of Evi Statiri [the companion of Gerasimos Tsakalos] continues, while the competent authorities know with absolute certitude that there’s no incriminating evidence against her.

I could not shut my door upon the chased Angeliki [Spyropoulou]. In the same way, I can’t turn my back on the unjustly remanded Evi. Even more so because, so long as this pretrial detention continues, the hunger strike of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire members goes on; a hunger strike which enters its 31st day, a hunger strike which was launched exactly because of this pretrial detention of relatives.

The medical reports reveal that the health condition of the hunger strikers is very critical.

Now, not just every day but every single hour weighs them down. However, the strikers’ critical condition is not only highlighted in medical reports; the deliberate and systematic concealment of this very fact by the mass media also weighs heavily upon them. What does the judiciary want? Because, from what I hear, they hold the entire case in their hands. Do they want them dead, then? What is the role of the mass media? To get to multi-day work only after deaths occur?

Because that’s only when they start talking.

I do not consider that my decision to stay in prison is anything close to sacrifice towards Evi and the 11 people of the CCF, who continue the hunger strike.

I will always be accountable to this new generation of people because I, like all mothers and fathers of my age, could not deliver a better world to our sons and daughters. Instead, we made or permitted the making of a world where it’s being machinated and propagandised in every possible manner that the meaning of our days is the economic subsistence of society, that the great issue of people’s life is to settle loans. They don’t want to leave even a chink of hope that life means something else. It seems the sources of real, substantial life and creation have dried up, and we live in times where, in strange places such as prisons, you’re able to meet people that “prelude the euphoria of deserts, the violet flavored drinking seawater, the eternal spring…”.

I will remain in prison until the day when, along with Evi, we will step out the exit door, and our joy will be double because that’ll be the day when the strike of our loved ones will end.

Hunger strike is an ultimate emergency alert sent out to all forms of Power so that they don’t dwell on formal procedures, or the pursuit of revenge and extermination against any “adversaries”, but rather remind themselves of the real sources of life and creation.

Athena Tsakalou
[Koridallos prison]

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