Prisoners detained in Korydallos Prison Infirmary have staged a medications strike for almost a month now. They are currently on the 6th day of hunger-strike demanding retraction of article 22 of the civil partnership bill before it comes into force and improvement of conditions of detention through measures that will increase the quality of healthcare within prison.
Article 22 of the civil partnership bill changes the conditions of release and creates a more strict, regressive and punitive legal framework which affects disabled prisoners negatively. While permanent decarceration was possible for prisoners with an estimated disability of at least 67%, article 22 provides only for temporary release during which a re-assessment of disability can send patients back to prison in case an improvement in their health is recorded.
Prisoners’ demands also concern the need for an ambulance, increase in staff, proper sanitary conditions and provision of certain medications which the hospital does not have in stock (example flu and cold medicines). The issue of overpopulation is also central as the facility runs on 300% overpopulation and HIV+ and other vulnerable prisoners run the risk of contracting infections and contagious diseases their immune system will not be able to cope with.
So far, a terminally ill cancer patient lost his life during the medications strike but mainstream media have not reported on this, which means the struggle goes on unnoticed by a large part of society in Greece. For regular updates, please check #kolastirio_sos on twitter.
Below is the announcement made by The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry in support of prisoners who have the courage to stand up for their rights against an inhumane and ruthless justice system.
We support the demand for improved conditions of detention and hospitalization of prisoners until there is no other ”kolastirio”* or human warehouse left in the future.
The holidays are not enjoyed by everyone, let alone the fundamental human right to health. Today, on human rights day, and every day, we call on everyone to support the demand for better conditions of detention and hospitalization for prisoners until no other ”kolastirio” remains left – until every human warehouse is demolished in the future.
Inside the Prison Hospital of Korydallos Prison, the so-called Kolastirio, the degrading conditions of detention and hospitalization constitute a graveyard under the pretext of healthcare for all those defined as delinquent or infectious and render the state of emergency illegitimate. The healthcare staff moves back and forth between the Hippocratic oath and Mengele’s death camps.
Concluding, there’s an ongoing ideological manipulation of public opinion which criminalizes the victim (prisoner) and exonerates the perpetrator (society-system). Certainly there are many cases of anti-social behaviour, murders, etc, which require rehabilitation and not the vengeance of the organized society, since a generalized injustice is often the cause of delinquent behaviour.
In a world of anomie and controversial meanings of justice we are all accomplices, participants, guilty, perpetrators and accessories in this torture. The struggle for creating a symmetric world of freedom and solidarity is the only and most valid way out of this vicious cycle.
Athens, December 10th 2015
International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry
*people refer to the infirmary as ”kolastirio” which means hellhole in Greek