ATHENS – With protests surging in support of hunter striking terrorist assassin Dimitris Koufodinas to support his demand for transfer to an Athens prison, Greek police apparently were being hunted by anarchists stopping people and demanding to see their ID’s.
Vassilis Doumas, the President of the union representing police special guards said on Facebook he was anxious that “bounty hunters” were targeting officers, reporting complaints from civilians saying they were stopped by squads of people in the suburbs of Zografou and Vyronas.
He said that passersby and motorists were asked to report their names and professional capacity and also to display their identification papers by groups of people they identified as self-styled anarchists.
“They were out looking for police officers in civilian dress… like bounty hunters,” the unionist claimed, reported Kathimerini, the area in Zografou near a police precinct and operations department.
It’s also close to a university campus where a police patrol car was firebombed on March 1, a day after a police precinct in nearby Kaisariani was also pelted with Molotov Cocktails and rocks by around 20 hooded assailants, who damaged two motorcycles but did not cause any injuries, the paper said.
Anarchists have carried out rounds of attacks against state symbols in apparent retaliation for the New Democracy government refusing to give in to Koufodinas’ demand to be moved from a prison in Domokos in central Greece to the Korydallos prison in Athens.
About 2,500 protesters demonstrate peacefully, outside the Greek parliament , central Athens, in support of Dimitris Koufodinas a leading member of the armed extreme-left group November 17, who is on hunger strike, on Monday, March 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
He had been spending his life sentence at Korydallos – for murdering 11 people, among 23 victims of the disbanded Nov. 17 terror group – five of them Americans attached to the US Embassy over the years before police broke up the gang ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
He was transferred from Korydallos during the 4 ½-year reign of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that is riddled with terrorist and anarchist sympathizers, some elements wanting him let out of jail.
NO MORE FOOD
Koufodinas has been on a hunger strike for almost two months, now in a hospital in the central city of Lamia where it was reported he was refusing to take fluids now too, his health said to be in grave danger.
That has led SYRIZA, anarchists and other supporters to take to the streets, some 3,000 in Athens on March 1, demanding leniency for him and for the Conservatives government to relent.
The debate has been furious, especially in Parliament, where the now major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras pleaded for his life despite his murderous crimes.
Government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni sai it was obvious that the jailed terrorist “who has been convicted for 11 murders “is asking for privileged treatment outside the framework of the law,” the government unbending.
Peloni said that “he is trying to blackmail us with the hunger strike,” noting that he never appealed to the court for his request, even though he has the right to do so.
“He chose to risk his life. Democracy is neither vindictive nor can it be blackmailed. The state is obliged to apply the law without discrimination. That is what it will do,” she said, the paper reported.
Koufodinas’ supporters said that he had tried legal action but took to the hunger strike when they failed and SYRIZA spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the best approach would be “the flexibility that has been shown many times in the past” as this would “show the superiority of democracy over the value systems defended by Mr. Koufodinas”.
SYRIZA though, said while supporting Koufodinas’ demands that the far-left party wasn’t taking his side, nor that Tsipras was an advocate
SYRIZA also took issue with Peloni’s comments that it has sided with Koufodinas, disregarding the vast majority of people, and that its leader Alexis Tsipras is a self-appointed advocate “asking the government to violate the rule of law and change its attitude.” “And this for a detainee who has not shown an ounce of remorse for his crimes,” she added.
SYRIZA MP Nassos Iliopoulos asked if Peloni politicians, judicial officials, lawyers and rights activists who want the law to be observed as “self-appointed advocates,” not mentioning they support the law.