Prisoners launch hunger strike across Greece

4th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

In hopes of securing better living conditions, prisoners in Greece begin a hunger strike.

Athens -- Inmates in 21 prisons across Greece launched a hunger strike on Monday to protest overcrowding and lengthy pre trial detention periods.

Thousands of inmates, including Athens' top security Korydallos prison and the Alikarnassos prison on the Mediterranean island of Crete, launched the strike by boycotting all food.

Officials from the Initiative for Prisoners' Rights group said the inmates were demanding better living conditions in jail, including proper medical care and restrictions on the time that detainees awaiting trial must spend behind bars.

According to the Council of Europe, detainees can wait an average of 12 months in pre trial detention before they go to trial, which is nearly three times that of other European Union states.

"We are not suffering under the delusion that the ministry will accept all our demands. Our goal is one small victory to bring a breath of fresh air into this oppressive situation," Panos Lambrou, the representative of the prisoners' support group, said.

Greece's prisons are among the most overcrowded in Europe with 10,983 inmates crammed into jails designed to hold just 7,543.


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