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The judicial council rejects the request of a prisoner who has been starving himself for 24 days now

03 December 2014 / 17:12:58  GRReporter
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The judicial council of Piraeus has rejected the request of prisoner Nikos Romanos to be granted a leave from prison to attend lectures at the university. He began a hunger strike on 10 November in protest against the refusal of Korydallos prison administration to grant him leaves from prison in order for him to be able to attend lectures in "Corporate Management" at the college in Piraeus.

The prosecutor rejected his request a few days ago too. According to judicial sources, the judges in Piraeus have rejected the request for formal reasons, without examining the substance of the case. The reason is that, under the law, the authority that had ordered the detention of Romanos has to approve the request. In this case, the investigator has delivered a negative judgement on the granting of a leave for studying, as he believes that Romanos has to stay in prison until the trials associated with his charges. It is significant that three orders had been issued for his arrest.

As soon as the news about the refusal of the judicial council had been announced, the lawyer of the young man had disseminated a text signed by him and entitled "Dancing with death for 24 days." In an open letter, the man on strike defines the proposal of the Minister of Justice Haralambos Athanasiou for his studying through videoconference lectures in the following way: "This proposal is not applicable as there are seminars that require the students to be present. Furthermore, it opens a path to the prison administrations to stop granting leaves. Their inclination to shirk responsibility is known and the decision relating to the videoconference lectures will be applied to all prisoners."

Nikos Romanos also writes that he will continue the hunger strike "fighting to win or fighting to death" and adds, "In every case, if the state kills me with its position, Mr. Athanasiou & Co will remain in history as a gang of killers and moral instigators of torture and murder of a political prisoner. Let us just hope that there will be those free spirits who will condemn their justice in their own way."

At the end of his letter, Nikos Romanos calls for mass participation in the protests on Saturday on occasion of the sixth anniversary of the murder of his friend Alexis Grigoropoulos, which he witnessed.

At the same time and on the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos legal regulations on the granting of leaves for education to prisoners are currently being prepared. According to sources, he has requested the submission of all possible proposals in order for an immediate solution to the case to be found. The options that the Ministries of Education and Justice will examine include distance learning through videoconference lectures or other technical means and the physical presence of the prisoner at the exams having been transported to the university under special permission. Another option is for the prisoners to take the exams in prison in the presence of a teacher.

According to the media, the regulation can be announced even today or tomorrow at the latest.

In parallel, the protest actions in support of the ongoing hunger strike of Nikos Romanos are continuing. There was a protest rally of schoolchildren in the centre of Athens at noon today, anarchists will hold a protest in the courtyard of the Philosophy School of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and around 50 students had occupied the university building in the morning.

Earlier today, 12 participants in last night's clashes that followed the procession in support of Nikos Romanos in Athens were taken to testify before a prosecutor. The total number of detainees during the riots was 31.

The rioters had overturned at least two luxury cars during the clashes and had set fire to a public transport bus, having previously forced the driver and passengers to get off the bus.

Tags: Crime newsHunger strikeNikos RomanosLeave for studyingAnarchistsProtests
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