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Friday, 23 July 2010

Athens - Letter of comrade Pola Roupa of 9 July

I am in prison for involvement in Revolutionary Struggle, for which I assume political responsibility. I said in a joint letter with my comrades Nikos Maziotis and Kostas Gourna and I still say we will not stop struggling against the economic and political State even within the prison. I know that my political choice to join Revolutionary Struggle and my attitude from inside jail classifies me as a registered political enemy of the system, a fact which not only I don't deny but is my choice and honours me.
As it is known to my political opponents that no "special treatment" or form of pressure is going to bend me, the revenge is directed against the life of my unborn child, who suffers the consequences of this "special treatment" from the repressive mechanisms and is now treated as a political prisoner.

Let me explain:
From the first moment of my arrest I was not given the slightest careful treatment because of my pregnancy by the "anti-terrorists" and the E.K.A.M. (special forces) that held me and were in charge of my transport. I was subjected to the “special treatment” of total isolation in one of the airless cells 1 × 2,5 m on the 12th floor, (meaning G.A.D.A.'s 12th floor of the "antiterrorist" police) with the light on 24 hours (actually it is a method of psychological torture) for five days, transported to the prosecutor and investigator with my hands cuffed behind my back for hours, transported to jail in Thebes with my hands tied in the same way (no pregnant woman wears handcuffs when transported, let alone in the way they were put on me), and to violent treatment during my transport to the office of the investigating prosecutor, which ultimately resulted in my injury. After my insistence and after they feared I was going to lose the baby in the "anti-terrorist" office, they eventually took me to the hospital for tests.
During the two months I was held in the prison in Thebes, and while there was evidence from previous medical examinations that I might be suffering from severe complications of pregnancy which, if not treated immediately, could create very serious problems, my examination to confirm this complication was completed one and a half months late after I reacted strongly to the criminal indifference of the prison and bureaucracy concerning my health, and thus the health and life of my child.
It is, of course, a given that prisoners who need medical care are most often treated as prisoners first and as patients second. A characteristic phrase is that of the obstetrician in Thebes who said I cannot expect to do all the tests and with the frequency that I would if I was not in prison, a phrase that reveals the racist treatment that the prisoners-patients get in certain medical services of at least some prisons, which often puts their very lives at risk.

"Special security measures"
In my case, the "medical care" of the prison led to my staying for one and a half months with a health problem, not undergoing the necessary tests, which the doctor in charge considered to be of minor importance, constantly creating problems so I couldn't do them, although I myself asked for them several times. After finally being taken to the hospital in Livadia where this complication was confirmed, I still did not to have the opportunity to face the problem, waiting for minister of justice Kastanidis and Chrisochoïdis to decide when to transfer me to Korydallos prison where I could face the problems more effectively.
The first image of "special security measures" that would be imposed by the 'ministry to protect the regime'[*](former public order ministry) for each of my transfers to the hospital was in Livadia, which "took" several dozen uniformed and non-uniformed cops from various regions of Central Greece and Athens, involving of course the "antiterrorists" and the E.K.A.M., who were escorting me and were stationed everywhere at the hospital. Please note that during my transport to this hospital I was also handcuffed.
And if the delay in transferring me to the hospital in Livadia for the necessary tests was due to the indifference of the prison medical staff of Thebes and the bureaucracy, the delay in transferring me to Athens was merely the brutal revenge of Chrisochoïdis, which was covered up behind the "special security measures" which he imposed on every one of my transfers and transports. This finding is not merely an estimate, since from the moment it became known to the authorities of Thebes prison that
I face a serious complication in my pregnancy, which was by now threatened, they began to put pressure not only on the Ministry of Justice and Public Order but also on Kastanidis and Chrisochoïdis personally for my immediate transfer to Athens. Nevertheless, they delayed my transfer for one and a half weeks, without in the meanwhile providing any medical care for the problem that I faced, a delay thanks to the "special security measures".
Delays due to the measures ordered by Chrisochoïdis for me did not stop here. The day after my arrival in Korydallos, an emergency situation demanded my immediate transfer to the hospital. While in any other case, the transfer would be very fast, I had to wait hours for the "special forces" and E.K.A.M. to gather. Of course at Tzaneio hospital where they took me, I was constantly surrounded by armed E.K.A.M. who, naturally, caused panic in the corridors of the emergency rooms. The same image prevailed at Alexandra clinic, which I was referred to by the doctors of Tzaneio due to the jurisdiction of the hospital.
A key issue for me is that, because of these "special security measures" that are taken for each of my transfers to hospital, the danger for the health and life of my child is increasing.

"In Alexandra hospital"
But these pressures and the vindictiveness of my political opponents, did not stop here. This peculiar war continued with the conditions during my 5day stay at Alexandra Hospital. There I was in a stifling ring of cops and in a state of isolation. The guards outside the room-cell in which I was held constantly harassed me with continuous monitoring, - even at very private moments in which I was forced to yell and make gestures to make them leave.
This practice can only be described as brutal psychological warfare. Please note that I was alone and constantly locked in a small room on the 1st floor, with bars and without any contact with other people other than medical and nursing staff. This perverse practice that they were preforming, on the orders of their superiors, male and female cops, constantly watching me from the window of the locked door, stopped largely after my intense intervention and after adding additional forces outside the window of the room-cell where I was.
All the days I was hospitalized in Alexandra they forbade me to have relatives visit - other than one a week for about half an hour - and phone calls - but one phone call a day for a minute and just one person (relative or lawyer) -, minimized the time spent with lawyers, of whom they kept all personal belongings (bags, phones, etc.) and imposed the constant presence of the guard in any medical and hospital visit.
The consequence of this is that all medical and hospital visiting and examination was always under police supervision and was circumventing any notion of medical confidentiality as all the details of my medical history were known to any cop who happened to be there.
The continuous monitoring of each review, any discussion with doctors and nurses was no longer just about me but it was a blatant intrusion in the work of the doctors, which they treated as another "possible threat to security".
The presentation of the patient-doctor relationship in a regime of continuous monitoring by the repressive mechanisms and their political bosses, who are informed in detail about any medical development, undermines the special relationship and inevitably harrasses the smooth operation and medical treatment.
Eventually the whole process of treatment is converted into a perversion of control by organized power, which alienates it.
These "special conditions of detention", applied to me during my stay in hospital are not legalized by any law. The treatment of each patient-prisoner depends on the "risk" that he is for "security" and the "chances he has to escape". Therefore, every security measure (presence of cops during examinations, surgeries, etc.) is determined either by the political leaders of the cops or from the operationals and sometimes left to the discretion of those who form the prisoner's guard. Thus, we have cases where police attend a birth on the grounds that the prisoner can escape.
I have never called for and never will call for humanitarianism from my political opponent. I do not believe that any kind of authoritarian is interested in the survival or health of my child, let alone mine. Instead, I think if they could, without taking into account the political cost, I would be left in total abandonment and it's likely that I would - based on many factors and my high risk, according to the opinion of the doctors, pregnancy - not be able to make it and my child would not survive. It is no exaggeration to say that this would be the wish of my persecutors and would be the best revenge for them.
It is also true that whatever proper medical care I receive at this moment is due to the doctors of Alexandra Hospital, which because of the emergency that happened to me took the situation into their own hands, completed a full medical diagnosis and put in proper order the way my problems will be treated from now on.

"Natural right"
I do not believe in any de facto respect of human and political rights by the regime, since both are covered and defined by the conditions and intensity of the social and class war which in each historical period it is conducted.
For those who make up the economic and political elite, humanity and value of human life is not for anyone other than class peers and their families.
It does not concern the proletarians, the poor, those who have nothing, who get sick and die in the increasingly squalid and inhuman living conditions that apply to the low social and class backgrounds.
The poor are undernourished and have to eat poison, do not have basic medical care, have to die on the stretchers of the decaying public hospitals.
Concerning the above facts, over the last few decades the social conditions are becoming more brutal because of the deep economic crisis that the system has plunged into, resulting in a growing number of social groups going into the category of the excluded, being condemned to a slow death, while the -for years now- substandard public hospitals are collapsing under the weight of public spending cuts imposed by the government and the Troika (Eur.Committee, International Monetary Fund, European Social Fund) which completely controls the business operation of the country and public funds.
The natural right of every single human to nutrition, housing, health, life, is already being abused in increasingly large parts of the population, while the regime steals wages, pensions and public money in order to preserve the economic and political elite and to ensure the perpetuation of power.
Their humanitarianism does not concern the prisoners stacked in prison-soul warehouse, who are treated as third-class people by the regime and the value of their lives is priced according to the space their death will fill in a newspaper column.
Their humanitarianism does not concern the enemies of the system, which, in reality and despite the ridiculous assertions by the Government to respect human rights, wants their physical extermination. If anything prevents it, as I said, it is only the political cost.
The fighter Simos Seisidis, who the regime has classified, using a range of police scenarios and assumptions, in their list of enemies, is an example. Seisidis, after being seriously injured by a cop’s bullet and risked losing his life, faced throughout the duration of hospitalization all available means of psychological torture and revenge by his persecutors, and wannabe killers: isolation, presence of cops in the ICU, continuous harassment, obstruction of medical and nursing staff - which reached the point of police surveillance being imposed even during the amputation of his leg.
This brutal behavior of the mechanisms of repression against Simos Seisidis ended with the decision to remand him in custody while his health is in this very bad situation.

"They Seek revenge"
The invocation of any human and civil rights is an outdated practice and refers to the remains of an era in which a series of social and class compromises coordinate the balance between oppressor and oppressed, allowing the maintenance of the regimes normalcy and peace. These balances are of the past, the class and social compromises have been invalidated by the system itself, which is attacking society more and more viciously, while the regime's peace hangs by a thread.
Within the current historical period it is known that the system, political and economic power and those who compose it, are creating public outcry continuously at all levels. On the other hand, rebel forces, such as Revolutionary Struggle, are finding a wider and wider social base.
Despite the regime’s efforts to discredit us as political figures and discredit the activities of Revolutionary Struggle, our organization receives the political acceptance of a large segment of society, which will eventually turn into options and practices of rupture and violent conflict with the system of representative democracy, capitalism and market economy.
In this historical context, where the rulers are expressing extreme vindictive fury against those who are fighting the dilapidated system, the attitude of law enforcement mechanisms can be interpreted in political terms, and that of Chrisochoïdis personally, towards me, since after seeking revenge for Revolutionary Struggle and for my political stance they are constantly threatening the health and life of my child with every available means.
Because for all the time that I've been in prison nothing has been given to me and any medical care was granted by a struggle on my part, I declare I will continue to pursue the necessary medical and pharmaceutical care and I will fight for his life and health.

To do so, I demand:
-No repeat of delay in transferring me to hospital, whether for scheduled appointments for medical examinations or in an emergency, with the justification of the maintenance of "special security measures". Particularly in the latter case, any delay can in fact be crucial for the survival of my child.
I'd like to emphasize that I do not care how many and what kind of armed ones accompany me in my transport or my stay in hospital. What interests me is that the time that these forces take to assemble works against the life of my son which is continually compromised.

-There shall not be any interference by government entities and repressive mechanisms on where to nurse me again, for reasons of "security." It would be another brutal act of revenge.

-Not to repeat the petty status of isolation and continuous control that is imposed on me in Alexandra Hospital, which can only cause problems to the successful completion of my hospitalization, and can affect the birth in the most negative way as well.

-No guard shall attend my examinations, visits of doctors, the nurses' care and, of course, no cop - including a female cop - should be in the room where I deliver, a practice which is the greatest insult to the dignity of female prisoners. Also, not only will I not tolerate my medical history, my personal information associated with it and my body being under the perverse control of the repressive mechanisms, but I consider this whole process to be a practice of war, punishment and revenge by my political opponents imposing it on me.
-To also stop the vindictive regime of isolation, allow me to get visits and be able to communicate by telephone. Also, to have the 24-hour care of my relatives, which is absolutely necessary.

Because until now, since I've been taken over by the ministry of the regime and the anti-terrorists, I have constantly faced problems that have threatened the health and life of my son, i declare that, if they do not respect the above basic requirements to have a safe delivery, this would mean that not only my political opponents have no intention to stop targeting my child, but want to persist and intensify the war.

Any bad course of my pregnancy under these hostile and vengeful conditions, any new threat to the life of my son would be a blatant attempt to politically murder my unborn child, who of course is not a prisoner even if he is treated as a hostage of war. I charge this attempted assassination in advance to Chrisochoïdis personally.

But to blame will also be his political and operational officers, Papandreou and the entire government.

Pola Roupa

Koridallos Prisons

[*]it's actually now called 'the ministry for the protection of the citizen'

...boubourAs translations... actforfreedomnow...

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