Greece: British activist released
Update 14.1.04: Simon Chapman, who was arrested at the Thessaloniki Summit in 21 June 2003, was freed on 13 February by the Greek court. He had been charged with making Molotov cocktails which he said were planted on him by the police. See: “Captured on film” (pdf with pictures)
Update: 27 November 2003: The “Saloniki 5” were released on bail from prison on Wednesday 26 November on the orders of a panel of three judges. Just before the decision the public prosecutor tried to order doctors to force fed the five – they refused. Suleiman Dakduk was on hunger strike the longest, for 64 days, the others including UK citizen Simon Chapman. joined him on 5 October. First picture (thanks to indymedia)
The five were arrested during the EU Summit in Thessaloniki on 21 June and charged with a series of offences which they deny. Simon Chapman was charged with being in possession of molotov cocktails in black rucksacks – he says he had a blue rucksack containing bottles of water and clothes: see: “Captured on film” (pdf with pictures) and Guardian: Athens judges free hunger-strike Briton
Medical reports on the condition of the “Saloniki 5” Update 20 November 2003
On 19 November the Greek Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation and Statewatch sent medical reports on their condition:
The “Saloniki 5” on hunger strike transferred to high security prison Story filed on 12 November 2003
Five people arrested at the Thessaloniki EU Summit in June have been transferred to the high security Korydallos Prison in Athens because of a month-long hunger strike. The five are: Carlos Martin Martinez and Fernando Perez Gorraiz of Spain, Simon Chapman from the UK, Syrian Suleiman Dakduk and Greek Spyros Tsitsas. They deny charges of rioting and possession of fire bombs. The hunger strike began on 21 September by Suleiman Dakduk who was joined by the Spanish men and Simon Chapman on 5 October and Spyros Tsitsas on 8 October. They began to refuse liquids last Friday and were sent to a Thessaloniki hospital. Two others are being held in a juvenile prison in Avlona.
Greece: The “Saloniki 8” and Simon Chapman Statewatch first filed a story on 24 July 2003
At a counter protest during the EU Thessaloniki Summit in June eight people were arrested and are being held on charges, known as the “Soloniki 8”. These include UK citizen Simon Chapman who faces the most serious charges of possessing explosives. The “Support Simon Chapman campaign” say:
“Simon was arrested on Saturday June 21st at the anti-EU demonstration in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was by the anti-authoritarian block march which left the occupied university at around 5.00 pm. Initial scuffles broke out between the police and part of the march with the police responding with hundreds of canisters of CS gas and other chemical weapons.
Simon was caught up in this attack by the police and was overcome by the teargas. A police snatch squad then went for Simon and proceeded to kick Simon in the head and face repeatedly. At this point Simon was wearing a distinctive blue and purple rucksack as the photo in the pdf below shows. His bag was subsequently taken by undercover police who proceeded to place three black rucksacks of Molotov’s near him as the photo on the right shows.
In addition to this evidence, a film footage moments after the initial contact with the police shows clearly undercover police placing the bags full of Molotov’s near Simon as well as placing a hammer and pickaxe handle in the bags. The Greek authorities claim that Simons Blue and Purple rucksack does not exist! Well we know and can show different.
Simon is 29 years old, and works as a graphic designer in London. He is an anti-capitalist and in London has been involved with several social centres, particularly in organising musical events. Recently he has been involved in anti-war and anti-militarist projects and actions.”
1. “Captured on film” (pdf with pictures)