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Convicted Terrorist Koufodinas on Hunger Strike for 45 Days

Koufodinas hunger strike
Koufodinas leaving the Korydallos prison in November 2018 when granted a prison leave. Credit: AMNA

Convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas, who has been on hunger strike for 45 days demanding to be moved to an Athens prison, announced on Monday he will stop drinking water too.

Koufodinas, a leading member of November 17 (17N) terrorist group, is serving 11 life sentences for a series of murders without expressing remorse.

In 2018 he was moved from Korydallos prison in Athens to a low security agricultural facility after the prison council approved his parole request, citing exemplary behavior.

He was granted at least six temporary prison leaves during the 2017-19 period. During one of his leaves he was spotted strolling the streets of Athens.

In 2020 he was sent to a high security prison at Domokos, central Greece.

His supporters claim the move to the new facility is unlawful and punitive. He started a hunger strike in early January.

On Monday he announced he will also stop drinking water, until his demand is met.

Costa-Gavras appeals for Koufodinas life

Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras on Monday appealed to the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to save the life of Koufodinas and order his return to Korydallos prison.

“Based on the principles of humanity, [I appeal to Mitsotakis] to fulfill his obligation under the rule of law and to order the return of the convicted prisoner Dimitris Koufontinas to the prison where he was serving his sentence,” Costa-Gavras said.

Last week dozens of academics and artists also sent a letter of appeal to the Greek government asking Koufodinas to be moved.

However, the Greek government insists that it is abiding by the law. It says that democracy cannot be blackmailed by a convicted terrorist.

Supporters on the rampage

Some leftist groups supporting Koufodinas has launched attacks against media outlets and government ministers.

On Monday evening his supporters vandalized the offices of Action24 TV station in Athens.

They threw paint and rocks, damaging the glass-front entrance. They also threw printed flyers in solidarity to Koufodinas. One suspect was arrested.

A little later, a different group vandalized the office of Education Minister Niki Kerameus. It sprayed red paint to the walls calling for solidarity to Koufodinas.

Koufodinas, the hit-man

17N was formed in 1975 and led by Alexandros Giotopoulos. Koufodinas was the main hit man.

The terror group conducted an extensive urban guerrilla campaign against the Greek state, banks, and businesses, as well as American, Turkish, and British targets.

It committed 103 known armed robberies, assassinations, and bombing attacks, during which 23 people were killed.

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