βασανιστήρια, tortura

About the case of Charis Mantzouridis

In October 13, 2021, the Greek state, through the police and specifically the department of crimes against property, abducted the comrade Charis Mantzouridis in front of his house where he lives with his companion and their child. The modus operandi is common and widely used throughout the years: the cops surrounded him on the pretext of bringing him into the Police Headquarters of Athens because, according to an “anonymous” (sic) telephone call one week before, he was a suspect for robbery. They cuffed, beat and chocked him in front of the stunned neighbors. We already know how cops are; but we still analyze and enumerate their brutalities so that no one forgets who we are dealing with and what they are capable of. For the state forces, it is just another Wednesday when they trample one person with disproportionate violence in front of his underage kid; it is just a Wednesday when they cuff a person who is not accused of anything while declaring they just want to bring him in; it is just a Wednesday when they slander a person and spread that he molested an underage girl; it was just a Wednesday.From that moment onwards, the procedures went fast, proving that the case was rigged in advance and that the police organized a frame-up to fabricate guilty people. Within the last months, the Greek police aims to strike the final blow to all those who continue resisting against the widespread social numbness. There have been many cases and countless times when the state attacked the more radicalized part of society during the pandemic years. We are now witnessing a substantial upgrade of this strategy, since they go beyond raw repression in the streets against massive manifestations, employing penal repression to physically eliminate as much militants as possible. DNA has been the constant and “infallible” weapon of state repression for several years. Recently, the cases of persecutions based only on DNA proof have been rising. We should explain what DNA proof means, how it is created by police authorities and their labs. Almost all persecutions involving DNA are based on mixtures of biological material located on movable objects. DNA alone does not constitute proof (not even in the pioneering USA, where DNA mixture analyses were performed for decades before being rejected as unreliable); the reason it could never be reliable evidence is that, even when a sample is fully identified with one person, transferring this sample has been scientifically proven as dramatically easy. Therefore, it is clear that the presence of DNA at one place does not imply the presence of the person there. Furthermore, in cases where militants (or others) are persecuted, the evidence is mainly mixtures of DNA from two or more people, which basically means countless potential combinations from which multiple DNA types may easily result. This is also the case of our comrade Charis, accused for a robbery that took place in 2018 in Zografou area (Athens), based only on a DNA mixture found on a clip located close to the robbery site. The police are aware of how questionable and unreliable DNA is as sole evidence. That is why they played the “terrorist” card to achieve our comrade’s pre-trial detention. All mainstream media spread the authorities’ version of the story describing him as a dangerous anarchist terrorist, while the police included in his brief one more DNA mixture, once again found on a moveable object (glove) discovered two blocks away from where an arson at a car dealership took place in 2009. The retrieval of an archived case from 12 years ago is not surprising. The unprecedent in this case is its inclusion in the brief since it cannot be held as evidence for further charges (i.e., arson); it is included only to create impressions. Although no aggravating evidence was found in the comrade’s house, although he was working daily to cover the family’s needs, although he is a father of an underage child and has no criminal record, he was remanded.As a result of this situation –he found himself transferred from his house to Korydallos prison– he had a mental breakdown. The first episode happened while he was detained in the waiting cell of the prison; during a panic attack he was heavily injured in the head. He was immediately transferred to Attiko Hospital where he received the appropriate medical care. In the hospital, his mental health deteriorated; his transfer to the Dafni Psychiatric Hospital, where he remains until today, was considered necessary to preserve his physical integrity. In Dafni Hospital, after receiving medication he showed signs of improvement and his transfer back to Korydallos was decided. However, this was an additional stress factor that led to another serious crisis endangering his life and integrity. The reason we mention all that is not to analyze in detail the situation of the comrade’s mental health but to demonstrate an ongoing state crime taking place on the body and mind of Charis. The suffocating pressure inflicted by the police and his imprisonment without evidence triggered an outburst that intensified and continues to affect our comrade’s mental health. For us, mental health issues are not taboo or reasons to stigmatize people, as required by the capitalist society. We know that each and every one of us experiences an ongoing war of attrition merely by living within this voracious system. All the more so when someone is targeted by authorities and directly receives the violence and repression. We are well aware that the main responsibility lies with the state mechanism, meaning the capitalist system in general, and its institutions, the cops, the judges and other custodians of power. We demand our comrade’s immediate release to put an end to this ongoing torture he undergoes. Every day our comrade is guarded in Dafni Hospital is another day of brutality.
Comrades and friends of Charis

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