Several media as The Press Project , Nea Prooptiki, Efsyn, attended the press conference of the lawyers of the 11 Revolutionaries from Turkey, whose appeal has begun to be heard. The political refugees, who have been on hunger strike since 7 October, are demanding a reduction in the exterminating sentences, which according to the defence lawyers apply the logic of collective responsibility.
The appeal of the 11 Revolutionaries from Turkey began on Thursday, December 1, 2022 and will continue on the 12th and 14th of the same month. During the first trial, the lawyers highlighted the need for a recording of minutes, pointing out that in thefirst instance proceedings the detainees were convicted with altered wording added to the written minutes. The request was rejected, with the president pledging, however, that the problems of the first-instance proceedings would not be repeated. They then highlighted the contradictions of the indictment, attempting to deconstruct the allegations of the prosecution police witness.
We recall that the 11 militants from Turkey have complained to the TPP, a few days before the start of the appeal, that the first-instance decision was based on non-existent and unreasonable evidence, as before the court began “the government had already announced that we are terrorists”, while “the Minister of Interior of Turkey, Suleiman Soylu, announced on a channel that Turkey asked for us to be arrested and imprisoned and thanked the Greek government, who did it.” In fact, they complained that they have been repeatedly subjected to police torture, including swearing, threats and beatings.
The press conference, which was broadcast live by the TPP, began with an intervention by Konstantina Kartsioti, member of the Solidarity Committee for 11 political prisoners from Turkey , who referred to the vindictive and politically motivated nature of the first-instance decision, which was based on the EU’s imperialist “terrorist list”. He then informed about the state of health of the detainees, who are on hunger strike, demanding a fair trial, the removal of the sentence with the terrorist, the names of the tortured police officers and the return of the money of the refugee fund and the equipment seized by the police. She points out that one of the hunger strikers, Burak Ağarmış is already close to 47 kg, while his pressure is constantly low.
Lawyer Aleka Zorbala referred extensively to the struggles and personal history of each of the defendants, who fled to our country to escape the persecution of the Turkish government. She spoke of a predetermined first-instance conviction that followed political expediency, saying that the cooperation of the Counter-Terrorism Service with the EYP, for the prosecution of the 11 militants, has been proven.
Lawyer Dimitris Sarafianos said that with the only evidence being a bag of guns, found just a day before the arrest in the basement of a house that was not accessible to the vast majority of defendants, they were prosecuted en masse as a “terrorist organization”. Despite the fact that one of them has made it clear that his co-defendants knew nothing. He explained that despite the absence of evidence, such as telephone conversations, the defendants were convicted as members of an organization that the Anti-Terrorism Unit itself admits is not active in Greece.
Lawyer Patrikios Patrikounakos pointed out that the indictment, the indictment and the first-instance decision were based on the logic of collective responsibility, with the only element being the perception and not the evidence of the police prosecution witness. It was even raised in the case of defendants, who had only been in the country for a short time and were found to be convicted as members of a terrorist organization allegedly operating in Greece.
Lawyer Joanna Kurtovik added that there is an upsurge in prosecutions under 187A, also known as a “terrorist,” that allows the authorities not to be obliged to produce evidence and the courts not to seek the observance of guarantees in favor of the accused. In fact, he said they are being prosecuted in solidarity for money sent to support the detainees, as alleged funding of a terrorist organization, with the amounts being frozen. She spoke of a persecution that targets a political space of solidarity, with decades of action in our country, through a single prosecution witness, who appears like a superman, to be omnipresent.
Finally, the lawyer Thanasis Kabagiannis took the floor, who spoke of an unpleasant surprise he faced when he read the first-instance judgment, also referring to the logic of collective responsibility. He referred to the defense’s request that minutes be kept by voice capture, so as not to repeat the forgeries, which led to convictions, as well as the president’s commitment not to do the same in this process. He said the only prosecution witness, a police officer, appears in court as a party, who even admitted to treating the accused as a mass and a herd, without even going into the process of producing evidence for each accused individually.
Reporting by Panagiotis Papadomanolakis from Press Project