Migration and Struggle in Greece

A prosecutory fiasco adds to the police vengeful campaign against immigrants in Chania, Crete

Posted by clandestina on 17 June 2009

Surveillance and prosecutions in the town of Chania against struggling immigrants and their organisations continue. The police in the town after the two day networking and action event by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete launched a campaign of intimidation against the rise of immigrant assertive activity (see this post: Police campaign to intimidate struggling immigrants and communities in Chania, Crete). Among the arrestees of the days was Farahat Gabri, active in the migrant movement since years, whose health was in a bad condtion and remains so after his detention and the police denial of  access to medical care (instead of some hospital, he was transferred to Athens, away from his support networks – see this Chania Haunt of Immigrants – Social Haunt press release about this case – in Greek).

Yesterday though, the situation in the town took a bleaker and at the same time ridiculous – as regards the police’s “master plans” – twist.   After the arson attack against a police vehicle at the Souda district the police invaded the houses of immigrants well known from their year long residence in the town and their affiliations with the social struggle for rights.   Two of them were supposedly witnessed to be near the spot of the arson attack.

They were brought to court yesterday.  The witness was a junky, absolutely depended on state benefits support and intermingled with the undercover police in Chania.  The Courts of Chania were filled and surrounded with all sorts of police, who kept encouraging the “witness” to “say everything, and f*ck them”….

The Forum of Immigrants in Crete called the people who had been with the two immigrants that night to confer their testimonies to the court. Along with the Athens Indymedia post of some group assuming responsibility for the arsonist assault, and the rapid response by lawyers in Chania, the pressures culminated and led the court to to downgrade the charges (the accused immigrants would be otherwise trialled under the “terrorism-law”) and then release them until some DNA tests are carried out on supposedly found evidence.  The court will resume in ten days.

The Forum of Immigrants in Crete calls for vigilance.  This last police fiasco is not an isolated incident. It is not only part of the general terroristic “sweep operations” rush of the last days, but also – and crucially so -part of the vengeful campaign of the minister of public order Markoyannakis against the self – organized assertive initiatives of the Forum – the police and pertinent ministries will not forget and will not forgive the local community support and the momentum of  the last winter’s hunger strike.

Tomorrow (Thursday) an open discussion with the town’s associations, trade unions and political organisations is to take place at Papadopetrou building in the center of Chania.

(most info from Forum of Immigrants in Crete release).

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