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Greece: Pola Roupa member of the R.O. Revolutionary Struggle: About the traffic accident and my continuous transfers from one prison to another

Greece. Statement by Pola Roupa, member of Revolutionary Struggle, on the traffic accident and her continuous transfers from one prison to another.

Originally published by Athens Indymedia. Translated by Act For Freedom Now!


The road accident that I experienced during one of my many transfers at the end of another trial, was to be expected since the chances increase with my numerous transfers in cages inflicted on me by the Ministry of ProPo (Ministry Of Citizen Protection).

This particular cage was virtually uncontrollable on the wet surface of Kifissos Avenue and the driver shouted that he had no brakes. The collision took place at 50 km / h, as a result of which I was thrown from the metal seat in the cage of about 0.40 (X 0.40) that holds me during the transfers, and hit my head and spine hard. Of course, I was transferred to another cage. I was taken to the hospital (Thebes) on the orders of the prison doctor who examined me after I arrived at Eleonas prison.

This incident is not simply an unfortunate accident. When I asked a policeman “how do they accept to travel in cages without brakes, since they themselves put their lives in danger”, they told me, how “they make constant reports about the cages that are not maintained and how they are ignored. If any of them refuses to do the transfer, they will be fired.” Besides, the large number of transfers, the pressure under which they are made, the high speeds reached by the vehicles for safety reasons, in combination with the operating condition of the cages with no brakes, worn tyres, without any mechanical maintenance, make a car accident mathematically certain. If this unavoidable accident had happened elsewhere and the cage had reached a higher speed, it could have been fatal. And all this so that I do not stay in Korydallos for more than ten days until the next trial that has been set for February 24 and while many other trials are to follow (in the special court of Korydallos prison). A large number of male and female prisoners are being held in Korydallos prison for the duration of their trial, and this is as it should be.

I have protested to the ministry repeatedly as well as in statements where I have made public my continuous transfers from one prison to another. This is unacceptable retaliation for purely political reasons. And as it turned out, in the end these events put my life in immediate danger as I undergo numerous transfers in cages without brakes, while constantly being exposed to the risk of infection with COVID 19. Meanwhile, the silent refusal to accept my transfer to Korydallos prison has resulted in my having many more months of detention added in addition to those of the law and serving a large part of my sentence in quarantine, as I am constantly being transferred from one prison to another. And while the numerous transfers ordered by the ministry are increasing my risk of infection with SARS-COV 2, the ministry puts me in quarantine that it forces the prisons to apply. And while we, the prisoners, submit to this regime with all the restrictions that it entails, the law that provides for this detention to count as double [time served], as it applies to police departments and Transfer, is not even applied.

On 24/2 when I have the next trial, I will be transferred once again and from the quarantine of Thebes I will enter the quarantine of Korydallos for another 14 days. If in the meantime I have a trial of more than 10 days, I will be transferred back to Thebes to be quarantined for 14 days again and this process can go on until the end of my trials. Quarantines mean particularly difficult detention conditions with limited rights, at a time when the control of transferred prisoners could be done (directly) using tests. However, tests cost money while the restriction of prisoners’ rights does not!

While suffering all this with my health and my life constantly in danger, many of my rights as a prisoner and as a defendant are also being violated. The vengeful attitude that the ministry exerts on me on orders of the General Secretary of Anti-Crime Policy, Sofia Nikolaou, but also of the Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, (Minister of Citizen Protection) for purely political reasons, is dangerous and criminal. And in order not to put an end to it, they are indifferent even to their own State guards.

Because, as the facts show, it is more financially advantageous to put them in danger – or detainees who carry no weight – than to maintain the cages and put brakes and tyres on them. And this is another thing that shows how hypocritical those who rule are when they talk about the value of human life.

The whole of society is seeing the same hypocrisy in the policy applied to the pandemic, for the strong refusal to strengthen the NSS as far as necessary, a choice that is obviously more costly than to chase an entire society with batons, subject it to humiliating restrictions and control it and hand out fines which – admittedly – strengthen the State coffers by further exterminating the poor. I remind you that all this special treatment for me started in the Spring of 2020 after a mobilization in Korydallos women’s prison demanding the decongestion of the prisons, when I was suddenly transferred by a strong police force to the Eleonas -Thebes prison. This treatment must end now and my transfer to Korydallos prison must be accepted to stop my rights being violated as a prisoner and defendant, to stop my trials being parody trials, in order for my health and my life itself not to be endangered. The fact that my health and life are in constant danger, as transpired with the collision of the cage that happened to me to 11/2, is the responsibility of the Central Transfer Committee (KEM) and their political leaders in the ministry and the government of N.D.

From the quarantine of Eleonas – Thebes prisons

Pola Roupa member of Revolutionary Struggle

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