[Athens] Trial against the Petrou Ralli 8

Petrou Ralli 8

In Mai 2017 there has been a protest of imprisoned refugees in the detention prison Petrou Ralli in Athens. They demanded medical healthcare for a comrade in prison and protested against the conditions in prison. What happened was a brutal police attack against the imprisoned with many injured. 8 people were arrested because of their origin (Algerian) and accused. They have been brought to different prisons in whole Greece and threatened by many years of prison and loss of all right of protection by asylum.

More information can be found on the page of the Greek supporters from Unbuntu Wahhada in Thessaloniki.

Fotos vby Katja Lihtenvalner.

Here we document a call by supporters of Ubuntu Wahadda:

The tragic story of 8 Algerian men from Petrou Ralli

This story of 8 Algerian men is directly connected with two facts: the inhuman living conditions migrants are exposed to in Greek detention centres and their unknown detention status which is completely dependant on police authorities.

“We demand release of 8 migrants, who were beaten, tortured and arrested with accusation of “revolt” in hell of detention facility Petrou Ralli,” was one of the demands from a group of anarchists, who last week occupied the Polytechnic school of Athens, two days before the historic anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising against the military regime of November 17, 1974.

The story of 8 Algerian men is the latest most significant story of police violence in Greek detention facilities.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) reported on the mistreatment by the police officers in the Athens based detention facility Petrou Ralli in its September report. It addresses the authorities to take “rigorous action to counter acts of ill-treatment”.

Cells in Petrou Ralli “filthy, stuffy and infested”

CPT, in its report, describes the cells in Petrou Ralli detention facility as “filthy, stuffy and infested”. Apart from inhuman living conditions police authorities continue to practice “the use of prolonged detention”, reportedly one year or even more.

The conditions in Petrou Ralli were well documented in the video released after a 45-year-old Algerian man died last February.

This rare piece of evidence shows the kind of conditions of the facilities that migrants in Petrou Ralli are staying in:

The document is shocking.

“We asked police more then 4 times to call for a doctor and to help sick migrant. They denied to help,” the migrant in the video describes. He also adds that ill migrants (AIDS, hepatitis) are detained together with migrants who are healthy and as such “at risk”.

What does the police say?

We asked Greek police authorities for comment and to confirm if the video was really taken in Petrou Ralli detention facility.

“Considering the video, it seams that it does show a space, which is very similar to cells on third floor of Petrou Ralli for vulnerable migrants. The wing is not in use to detain migrants due to lack of lighting and ventilation,” was the answer given to us by Greek police authorities.

They add that for the above mentioned video and the incident in it, (the death of an Algerian man) a police investigation was conducted, but is still pending.

The answers of the police authorities are on the contrary to the released video document and to migrant testimonies.

The video very clearly shows that migrants are detained in these dark cells: there is a migrant on video, a mattress on the floor and the testimony of the man who took the video.

Iraqi Kurd Sha