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For the case of Rami Sirianos

On the 31st of January 2011, following a robbery after the termination of the ODDY (organization for the management of public material) auction in Neapoli, Thessaloniki, anarchist Rami Sirianos is surrounded and arrested by a DIAS police patrol. He is accused of robbery, kidnapping, theft and illegal weapon possession. Shortly after, the comrade Kleomenis Savvanidis is arrested in front of his house and also led in front of the judge for the accusations. Rami Sirianos claims the responsibility of committing the robbery, stating that he is an anarchist and that he robbed the ODDY in the context of his refusal of labor, adding also that his co-accused has absolutely no connection with this case. The comrade Kleomenis Savvanidis is set free under conditions until the trial, while Rami is remanded in Ioannina prison and few months later the trial is set for the 5th of December 2011 in Thessaloniki.

On the 11/11/2011, because of the upcoming trial, Rami is transferred to the Diavata prison, where he is requested to go through a body control, a process that he refuses. The prison authorities’ response is a disciplinary penalty of 10 days in isolation and a disciplinary transfer to another prison. Thus, after a dynamic solidarity gathering in front of the prison of Diavata, on the 18/11/2011 Rami is urgently transferred to Nigrita prison where, once again, he is requested to take off his underwear, a procedure he refuses to follow. For his refusal, the comrade receives a new disciplinary penalty of 10 days in isolation, while an order is given to the guards to proceed with the body control by the use of violence. On the 6/12/2011 while returning back to the Nigrita prison, after the trial was postponed for the 18/01/2012, Rami faces a new disciplinary penalty of ten more days in isolation because of his refusal to accept the body control. However, on the 18th the trial is postponed again for the 26th of March and then again for the 21st of May. Returning back to the prison after this last shift of the trial’s date, and although Rami is transferred during the same day from the prison to the court and vice versa, he, once more, refuses to go through the degrading process of body control. As a result a disciplinary transfer is ordered. Nevertheless, instead of being transferred to another prison, the comrade is thrown to the “cell of the newbie”, that actually is no less than an isolation cell. So, while the legal maximum of the isolation disciplinary penalty cannot surpass ten days, Rami eventually spent over 50 days waiting for the transfer that was supposedly ordered.

Demanding the end of his isolation and his immediate transfer out of that prison, Rami abstained from the prison meal from the 08/05/2012 to escalate his struggle one week later by starting a hunger strike under the same demands. On the 21st of May, disregarding the fact that his overall health is already undergone by the first days of  the hunger strike, and instead of being transferred to the hospital, the special -and spectacular- police squad brings him shackled in front of the judges. There, he makes it clear to the judges that he is not going to participate in the trial while being in isolation for almost two months and even more while he is on hunger strike, a decision that was supported by the second defendant too. So, the judges ask for a postponement of a week, setting the new date for the 28th of May. The following day the comrade is transferred to Larisa prison, without any problems occurring this time, and he quits from the hunger strike as his demands were fulfilled.

Finally, the trial of the comrades Rami Sirianos and Kleomenis Savvanidis takes finally place on the 28th of May among an ambience of strong solidarity from the plenty of comrades as well as the dominant presence of various police enforcements. The defendants’ statements  as well as the ones made from the defense witnesses in total, attached a strongly political essence to the trial, referring either to the robbery as a political choice or to the state political prosecutions. Indeed, tension prevailed after Rami finished his statement, and the judge ordered to evacuate the auditorium because of the intense clapping, a fact that eventually didn’t happen. The trial closes with Kleomenis being free of charges and Rami getting 8 years and 8 months of imprisonment. More specifically, 8 years for the robbery itself and 8 months merged for the rest of the accusations, since the kidnapping accusation was converted from felony to misdemeanor, as it was initially expected.  The comrade Rami Sirianos was transfered from the prison of Larisa unexpected to the prison of Domokos while he is waiting for his appeal.

On october of 2013, he got his first leave.

Letter from Rami Syrianos in regards to his case