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Greek Prosecutor Calls for Force-Feeding of Convicted Terrorist Koufontinas

Koufodinas leaving Korydallos prison in November 2018
Koufontinas leaving Korydallos Prison in November 2018 after being granted leave. Credit: AMNA

A Greek prosecutor on Tuesday called for convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufontinas to be forced-fed as he entered the 47th day of a hunger strike, demanding to be moved to an Athens prison.

Koufodinas, 62, has been in intensive care at Lamia Hospital since last week. On Monday he announced that he will also stop receiving liquids, including water.

A Lamia court of first instance prosecutor ordered that all necessary medical measures be taken to ensure that he continues to receive liquid pharmaceutical treatment.

The prosecutor’s order was issued at the suggestion of doctors “for the purpose of ensuring the life and health of the hunger striker.”

Doctors say that the convicted killer’s life is in danger.

According to a statement, Koufontinas “attempted self-harm by forcibly removing a catheter on his left arm.”

He was prevented from accomplishing that by the immediate intervention of medical staff.

Koufontinas, a leading member of the November 17 (17N) terrorist group, is serving 11 life sentences for a series of murders. He has never expressed remorse for the killings.

He has been jailed at the Domokos agricultural prison, near Lamia, and began his hunger strike on January 8 after demanding that he be transferred to Korydallos Prison, in Athens.

Costa-Gavras appeals for Koufodinas’ life

His campaign has been backed by a broad field of supporters, from anarchists to opposition parties, who have accused the government of singling him out for harsh treatment.

Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras on Monday appealed to the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to save the life of Koufontinas and order his return to Korydallos Prison.

“Based on the principles of humanity, (I appeal to Mitsotakis) to fulfill his obligation under the rule of law and to order the return of the convicted prisoner Dimitris Koufontinas to the prison where he was serving his sentence,” Costa-Gavras declared.

Last week, dozens of academics and artists also sent a letter of appeal to the Greek government asking for Koufodinas to be moved.

However, the Greek government insists that it is abiding by the law. It says that democracy cannot be blackmailed by a convicted terrorist.

Supporters on the rampage

Some leftist groups supporting Koufontinas have launched attacks against media outlets and government ministers.

On Tuesday, anarchists demonstrated outside the official residence of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, calling on her to intervene.

On Monday evening his supporters vandalized the offices of the Action24 TV station in Athens.

They threw paint and rocks, damaging the glass entrance of the building. They also threw printed flyers in the building as a way to show solidarity with Koufodinas. One suspect was arrested.

A little later, a different group vandalized the office of Education Minister Niki Kerameus. It sprayed red paint on the walls, calling for solidarity with Koufontinas.

Koufontinas was hit-man for terrorist group

17N was formed in 1975 and led by Alexandros Giotopoulos. Koufontinas was the main hit man for the group.

The terror group conducted an extensive urban guerrilla campaign against the Greek state, banks, and businesses, as well as American, Turkish, and British targets.

It committed 103 known armed robberies, assassinations, and bombing attacks, during which 23 people were killed.

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