Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, AMNA, AFP)
The health of convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas has swiftly deteriorated on Saturday, said Head of Lamia General Hospital Andreas Kolokithas in an announcement released on Saturday.
Koufodinas is currently being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit for an 11th consecutive day, after having first been treated for 22 days in a regular pathology ward.
“In full compliance with current legislation, ICU staff are taking all the necessary medical and pharmacological actions to deal with the consequences of the patient’s persistent refusal to eat or receive liquids”, added the statement.
“The medical staff continues to provide its services in accordance with the code of medical ethics, in order to ensure the health of the patient with full respect for human rights”, concluded the hospital statement.
Koufodinas has been jailed at the Domokos agricultural prison, near Lamia, and began his hunger strike on January 8 in demand of his transfer to Korydallos prison, in the Piraeus area. He was admitted to a hospital in Lamia, central Greece, on Monday in serious condition after refusing food for 48 days.
His wife Angeliki Sotiropoulou told AFP on Thursday that the 63-year-old is currently in “critical condition” and “borderline comatose” after refusing force-feeding.
Koufodinas argues that his transfer in December to the high-security prison of Domokos in central Greece was illegal and is demanding to return to the Athens prison where he had spent most of his sentence so far. Government refuses to give his lawyer the transfer papers, blocking any means of the convict to appeal the decision in the Courts system.
Amnesty International’s Greek branch also recently noted that Domokos is badly overpopulated.
“In today’s Europe, it’s unheard of to have a prisoner led to death or irreparable harm for asking to be transferred to another prison,” his lawyer Ioanna Kourtovik told AFP.
The authorities’ refusal to satisfy his demand is “arbitrary and punitive”, she said.
Hundreds of lawyers and intellectuals have signed petitions calling on judicial authorities to respect Koufodinas’ rights.
The union of Greek judges and magistrates joined the call on Wednesday, urging the authorities to “reconsider” their stance and take “all legal measures to protect his life and health.”
Koufodinas will be the first hunger striker to die in Europe, 40 years after Bobby Sands. Many have described the government’s behavior as revengeful. One of Koufodinas’ victims was Pavlos Bakoyannis, a lawmaker who was the father of Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyannis and brother-in-law to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.They also point out that government will make a hero out of a vicious killer.
Civil rights activists point out that protests are not in support of Koufodinas but for the protection of the Rule of Law in Greece.
KINAL criticized government for being self-trapped in an impasse because of its decision to move Koufodinas in the Prison of Korydallos. KINAL spokesman also said that government transforms Koufodinas to a fighting symbol.
Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras has also called government to change its stance.
“Rule of law considers human life the supreme good even in cases involving criminals. Democracy is strong when laws apply equally to every one and is not revengeful.”
Dubbed ‘Poison Hand’ by Greek media, Koufodinas was the main hitman of the far-left Greek extremist organisation November 17 that was dismantled in 2002. He is serving multiple life sentences, having been convicted of 11 killings.
November 17 launched dozens of attacks between 1975 and 2000 that killed 23 people.
They included the CIA station chief in Athens, several prominent Greek businessmen, Turkish diplomats and a British military attache.
PROTEST AND VANDALISM
Koufodinas’ supporters have staged multiple protests including a recent firebomb attack at the entrance of a private television station, and vandalizing the entrance of a building used as a private office by Greece’s minister of education.
A group of unknown assailants vandalized the family home of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Crete, as well as the local chapter of ruling New Democracy and the offices of a local Conservative lawmaker in a series of incidents on Friday night.
The assailants wrote slogans in black paint on the outer walls of Mitsotakis’ family home in support of jailed terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas who is on hunger strike.
Similar messages were painted on and flyers were scattered at the entrance of ND’s offices in central Chania, but the attackers did not enter the apartment building.
Red paint was also splashed outside the office of ND MP Manoussos Voloudakis, which is located near the Chania courthouse.
New Democracy condemned the attacks by supporters of the terrorist, calling them “thuggish.”
“Their successive attacks to request privileged treatment for a man convicted of 11 murders do not intimidate anyone. Democracy and the rule of law can neither be intimidated nor blackmailed.”