TIME magazine: Furor over Prisoners

24grammata.com/ αγγλικά

Greece: Furor over Prisoners
Friday, Apr. 19, 1968
On the night of April 21, 1967, battle-clad Greek soldiers arrested nearly 7,000 politicians and Communist suspects as part of the successful coup that established a handful of unknown army officers as the new rulers of Greece. A year later, more than one-third of those who were spirited away that night still remain in detention, a source of continued embarrassment to the regime of former Colonel George Papadopoulos. Last week an international controversy flared up over how the prisoners are being treated.

The furor was set off by Amnesty International, a London-based organization, in a detailed report compiled by investigators who recently spent four weeks in Greece. The investigators charged that some of the junta’s prisoners have been subjected to systematic tortures, including beatings on the soles of the feet and electric shocks to the genitals. The British government immediately buttressed the report by declaring its belief that prisoners have indeed been inhumanely treated.

Most of the prisoners, including 440 hard-core Communists, are kept in three camps on two barren Aegean islands, where they are allowed to receive mail and packages from their families. According to reports by the International Red Cross, they are also allowed to go outside for exercise at least once daily, are fed edible food and receive adequate medical care. Even so, the Red Cross considers only one of the three camps suitable for long-term confinement, has protested against the overcrowding and lack of proper sanitary facilities in the other two. The government also holds several hundred prisoners who have been arrested since the coup on such charges as distributing anti-junta leaflets and planting homemade bombs in or near government buildings. They are imprisoned in Athens, and most of the charges of torture refer to them.

In rebuttal, the Greek government categorically denied that it was torturing its prisoners and backed up its case by producing Red Cross reports on the prison camps that, while critical in tone, made no mention of any evidence of torture. Thus satisfied that its innocence was established, the junta announced that henceforth it will bar the prison camps to all foreign investigators except those of the International Red Cross.

Read more: http://www.time.com