>The third world prisons of Korridalos Athens

Posted on September 6, 2010

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Garbage everywhere, unbearable stink, conditions of asphyxiation and abandonment transform the cells into warehouses for souls.
Prisoners sleep on the floor, patients… travel so a doctor can see them, toilets without doors or light… The living and medical conditions in the country’s prisons remain third world and inhuman. The photos are revealing images of the shame that exists in the prisons: overpopulation, conditions of asphyxiation and abandonment transform cells into warehouses of souls… In the only hospital inside of Koridallos, 12 patients are treated in one room, without the basic hygiene, medical care and… space to move around.
The photos were taken at the end of August, with the help of ex prisoner Panagiotis Gewrgiadis and the support of the Initiative for the Rights of the Prisoners, that for years now has fought for decent conditions of living in the prisons.
The third world conditions that are documented in the photos are a small example”, the ex prisoner said. Panagiwotis found himself imprisoned with 100 warrants, decisions and charges about car theft. Later on, 96 of them were dropped, since it was proven that they were about some other people with the same first and last name, but with different father and mother name! He managed to get released about four months ago. The four warrants, which are still not gone, are delaying the examination of the application for the identity mistake which has not yet been determined.
Sleeping on the floor
during his 9 years of imprisonment, mr.Gewrgiadis suffered more than 100 transfers, so he has seen the situation in most prisons of the country. Most prisoners, he describes, sleep on the floor because the mattresses are dirty and have bugs and other… insects. The conditions are dramatic, especially in the summer months. “You know how many times I thought I wont survive the heat in prison? The atmosphere is suffocating. No brooms or mops or cleaning products were given to us to clean. In the hospital even if your dying, a doctor wont come near you. You have to walk a long hallway for a doctor to see you. They don’t come in not out of fear but out of disgust…”. He said.
The long hallway is seen clearly in the photos, just as the overpopulation in the hospital. The patients with wheelchairs are obligated to move from bed to bed to get to a point where they can get into the wheelchair… The lack of medical and nurse staff complete the scene of shame.
Garbage everywhere, toilets that are only… a hole, that cannot be cleaned and dont even have a door!”, describes Ioanna Drosou from the Initiative for the Rights of the Prisoners. “A main demand of the prisoners is that the Saint Pauls hospital of Koridallos prison should be part of the National Health System. Despite the fact that two years ago, it was decided that the hospital will become part of this system, in reality this is still not happened”, she explains.
Leave days
An institution that is slowly disappearing
After the attempt of known prisoner Vaggelis Pallis last saturday to end his life because he received another negative answer to the application he had made for leave days, the topic of the prisoners leave days comes back to the spot light.
The institution of leave days is the most important channel of contact the prisoners have with the outside world and it helps with social rehabilitation. With the excuse of “bad use of leave days” the rise of the exceptions to the rule, this institution seems to becoming extinct. Although, from its beginning until today only a small percentage of prisoners, less than 4%, use their leave days wrongly” the Initiative sais.
Recent legislation changes, like law number N.3772/09 that was voted while Dendias was minister, restricts the practice of leave days relevantly defines the criteria, resulting, as the members of the “Iniative” say, to the cutting without reason or even with the usual reasons. It also remains the problem of the convicted of the drug law, since with the legislation N.3811/09 they still are not eligible for benefits such as leave days or transfer to a farm prison after they serve 1/5 of their sentence. 
boubourAs translation for actforfreedomnow!
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