Dimitris Koufodinas is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted as a member of the “Revolutionary Organization November 17th” (17N).
From 2002 onwards Dimitris Koufodinas was permanently detained in a special underground wing of the Korydallos prison (Athens) until he was transferred to the Volos agricultural detention facility in 2018. Although he had been entitled to temporary prison leaves since 2010, he was granted the first one in 2017 (and five more times thereafter). Since spring 2019, Koufodinas’ temporary prison leave has been denied on grounds of his political beliefs and his refusal to express remorse – something that is not a reason for refusing prison leave under Greek law, confirmed in 2019 by the Areos Pagos, the highest Greek court.
Last autumn a law was passed with a provision that those convicted of “terrorist” crimes are excluded from custody leave and from serving their sentences in agricultural prisons. The only convict of this category who was in an agricultural prison was Koufodinas. During the legislative debate in Parliament, he was personally named as the addressee of this law.
On December 23, 2020, Koufodinas was transferred from the agricultural prison to Domokos prison. There he was locked together with two other prisoners in a suffocating small cell.
Dimitris Koufodinas, now 63 years old, is experiencing an essential worsening in his detention conditions, with severe consequences for his mental and physical health (the latter is weakened because of the hunger strikes to which he proceeded in the past).
The transfer to Domokos prison violated even the provisions of the aforementioned “anti-him-only” law, as he should have been returned to Korydallos, where he had been held for the first 16 years of his imprisonment. The ministry issued a written confirmation with false claims. Accordingly, he was moved to Korydallos and then with a new decision to Domokos, but in reality he was driven straight away to Domokos.
After the deliberately inaccurate confirmation of the Ministry, on Jan 8, 2021 Dimitris Koufontinas decided to protest against these methods and to demand to be transferred to Korydallos, as provided for in the recent law, and to go on hunger strike. His health condition has deteriorated rapidly since.
Today he is under medical observation in the Lamia hospital since from time to time he loses consciousness. We call for the transfer of Dimitris Koufontinas to the Korydallos Prison and to end his systematically discriminatory treatment.
Athens, 13th of February 2021