Greece. In April, 2021 the anarchist Vangelis Stathopoulos was sentenced by the Criminal Court of Appeal to 19 years in prison. Our comrade has been in custody since November 2019, in the first repressive operation of New Democracy – after coming to power – regarding the imprisonment of militants through trumped up charges and blatant plots.
Vangelis Stathopoulos, when asked, provided first aid to an injured comrade. The court of appeal, presided over by Maria Giannakopoulou – the same judge who had convicted Tasos Theofilou in the first instance – sentenced him to 19 years in prison for participation in the “Revolutionary Self-Defence” organisation and for theft in an ΟΠΑΠ store (the biggest Gambling company in Greece).
Based on what data? On the basis of the same evidence with which many militants have been imprisoned over the past years: the well-known “anonymous phone calls” of the anti-terrorist police, the anti-scientific “dna samples” of the anti-terrorist police and the “testimonies” dictated by the police. It is significant that during his arrest, the commander of the Anti-Terrorist Service, Lefteris Hardalias, told him: “We know you have nothing to do with the robbery at OΠΑΠ, but you will find the icing on the cake tomorrow.” The cherry on the cake was the police’s methodical claim that Vangelis Stathopoulos was involved in the ‘Revolutionary Self-Defense’ organization.
In a court of law, in which 3 witnesses testified they were with Vangelis in the centre of Athens at the time of the theft at the OPAP store in Cholargos. In a court, in which even the prosecution witnesses themselves testified that they did not identify Vangelis in any of the organisation’s attacks, nor in the theft. In a court, in which a biologist/technical consultant testified that this particular dna sample could be anyone’s. In the same court, our comrade was sentenced to 19 years.
As Vangelis Stathopoulos himself claimed in his statement, “What is my duty is solidarity and from the beginning I have taken responsibility in this regard. If I have to be tried for my political views, I declare unequivocally that I am an anarchist. I defend the history of subversive movements on the road to the universal liberation of man. The sequence of events, the acrobatics, the certainties that are nowhere justified, the questions that are many and unanswered, do not make the prosecutor’s proposal valid. It is the perception of what the police say, it is a premeditated suggestion to an ordered agency to be used against me to remove any presumption of innocence. I deny all charges both as to my participation in the Revolutionary Self-Defense and as to the robbery.” A second degree trial in the case has been set for February 9.
On 9 February we will all be in the Court of Appeal, in solidarity and in solidarity with Vangelis Stathopoulos, our comrade in struggle, who never stopped fighting against the exploitation of man by man. Immediate release of the anarchist comrade. Vangelis, strong to freedom.