Today, Monday 30/11/2020, 12 feminist collectives and women’s organizations, including the Diotima Center, issued a joint statement regarding the unnecessary arrests of feminists who participated in symbolic actions for November 25. The announcement entitled “We will not be afraid; we will not be silent. Elimination of systemic violence against women” has so far (1/12) been co-signed by 16 collectives and organizations. Below is the full text:
Despite the posts of the minister, Mr. Chrysochoidis on social media that “they work every day of the year to leave violence against women behind”, and the instructions of the Greek Police for November 25 to learn how to protect ourselves in case we experience gender-based violence, the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the government chose to “commemorate” the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by suppressing and illegally excluding feminists who participated in symbolic actions in Syntagma Square and Ermou, despite the fact that all participants strictly followed the protective measures for COVID-19, wearing masks and keeping their distance.
Initially, 9 feminists, members of collectives who sign the text, were arrested in Syntagma, and then 5 feminists and solidarity activists were arrested in Ermou, who were throwing placards against gender-based violence. All of them were detained for hours and needlessly at the Police Station of Syntagma and Acropolis.
In 11 of the 14 cases, the arrests became prosecutions, while arbitrary fines were imposed, even with a delayed recording of the time of the check in order to justify the illegal detention of the women and the imposition of a fine.
A formal trial was then set for an alleged breach of restrictive measures under Article 285 of the Criminal Code (breach of disease prevention measures).
The police, during the encirclement of the feminists and their escorts, did not observe the necessary health protection measures, endangering public health.
At the same time, in dozens of cities around the world, gatherings for November 25 took place normally and without prohibitions, which, as was the case in Athens, observed all health measures.
Regarding the minister’s “apology”, which is also a result of the feminist mobilization of the previous days, we believe that it will be pretentious if it is not accompanied by the withdrawal of the charges and fines.
While the fact remains that the suppression of the feminist protest constitutes a violation of the Istanbul Convention (Law 4531/2018), which defines the state’s obligation to refrain from any act of violence against women, ensuring that the authorities, officials, institutional and other bodies implement this obligation (Article 5).
- We unequivocally condemn police violence against women and even on the occasion of their participation in a symbolic feminist mobilization to eliminate violence against women
- We will not give up our right to protest as citizens against gender-based violence by demanding that the state do the obvious.
- We demand that the state protect our lives and refrain from both itself and the persecutory police authorities from acts of violence against women aimed at suppressing civil society and feminist collectives
- We immediately demand that the fines imposed on the contestants be abolished and that their prosecution be annulled.
- Assembly March 8
- THE PURPLE Women’s Rights Organization
- Rocinante Women’s Group
- Fighting and Free
- Diotima Center
- Center for Research and Action for Peace (KEDE)
- Feminist magazine
- Gay Lesbian Community of Greece (OLKE)
- WIFT GR Women in Cinema and Television – Greece
- Hellenic Women’s Network of Europe
- Association of Employees of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GGIF)
- Ban Racism Movement
- Piraeus Women’s Initiative
- March 8 Women’s Assembly of Thessaloniki
- Aphrodite queer-feminist festival*