The last few years, it was announced by high ranking officials at the ministry of justice that a new modern block would operate within women’s prison, in the context of improving conditions incarceration.
The old blocks were evacuated following the construction of the new building but throughout our 2,5 year confinement here, none of the previously recorded issues were resolved and new problems arose.
Indicatively, we want to mention the attempt to replace our yard with a box made of cement which has the size of a few square meters, an area very similar to a zoo cage that has been used as the garbage site of our prison. We then started mobilizing and refused to spend our yard time next to garbage.
Today, the ”modern” wing has turned into a melting pot of souls illustrated by the asphyxiatingly overcrowded spaces: over 120 women are crammed on the first floor which has capacity for 60 prisoners. In the summer this section becomes a furnace due to the high temperatures and the fact that the only two windows along the commonly used corridor remain locked up in order to control prisoners and keep them separate from those confined below them.
Throughout this absurdity, none official has considered that there are female prisoners suffering from severe and contagious diseases (for example syphilis and HIV). As a result these prisoners cannot be housed in separate areas and the correctional staff keep repeating the ”mistake” of placing them in wards filled with healthy prisoners. Also, these female prisoners are not even receiving the appropriate nutritional support and healthcare.
At the same time, there is a separate ward for HIV+ men within the women’s prison and those even receive separate prison rations, but when it comes to women prisoners the authorities keep experimenting with the lives and health of patients and others.
The weirdest thing is that at the time these words are penned, there is an entire empty floor which was created specifically to relocate women prisoners but was eventually used to house Golden Dawn MPs. Now that they have been released and only four members of the golden dawn remain in prison, the entire section remains unused.
Our sensible demands from the ministry include the following:
*Open the unused prison section as it was initially planned and have it integrated to the women’s prison so that overpopulation could be overcome and humane conditions of detention could be created.
*Create special wards of detention for HIV+ prisoners and provide them with complete healthcare and dietary support.
Starting on the 26th of August we plan to return to our cells an hour later than the schedule prison lock down (at 22:00 instead of 21:00) until a delegation from the Ministry of Justice comes over to provide a solution this issue that is of great importance to us.
Korydallos Women’s Prison