A bill completed by Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos aiming at improving Greece’s prison system via decongesting Greece’s overcrowded prisons and foreseeing house arrest instead of detention in specific cases has caused a fierce reaction from prosecutors. There is a fear the bill could lead to the uncontrolled release of inmates, but has cheered convicts.
On the contrary the bill was welcomed by 22 imprisoned members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group who issued a statement yesterday saying they were stopping a hunger strike after 32 days. The 22 were satisfied by a provision included in the new bill allowing relatives of convicts who are implicated in offenses to be put under house arrest rather than kept in custody. In their statement, the convicts said they looked forward to the swift release of the mother and girlfriend of one of the jailed convicts, Gerasimos Tsakalos, who have been detained on terrorism charges.
On its behalf, the prosecutors’ union said the prison bill, which was submitted to the Greek Parliament last week, is moving in the wrong direction. Mr. Paraskevopoulos, though, has defended the bill which is also aiming at the abolition of the Domokos high-security (Type-C) prison in central Greece. As he said, overcrowding in Greek jails is intense and must be addressed.
Clashes between anarchists and police outside Athens’ Polytechnic Scool
Yesterday evening April 4, minor clashes erupted between members of the anti-establishment movement and police forces outside Athens’ Polytechnic School, after a demonstration in solidarity with the hunger strikers. Some 20 men burned trash cans and set road blocks around the historic building, while a riot police squad arrived on the scene. Two people were arrested and faced prosecutors earlier this morning.