Statement from Léa Courtois Dakpa:

“My name is Léa Courtois Dakpa, and I am one of nine international European prisoners currently being deported to the Amygdaleza detention centre after our illegal abduction by the Greek police during a political action for Palestine. This action was part of the global student movement demanding that universities withdraw from cooperation with the Zionist entity and end the Palestinian genocide and occupation.

We were detained on Wednesday, May 15—Nakba Day—and have been held for a week without any criminal convictions. This is clearly an act of retaliation by the Greek state to silence the Palestine solidarity movement. The stated reason for our deportation is our designation as threats to national security.

But how can we be deemed threats when we haven’t even been convicted or tried? This designation is a clear ploy by the Greek fascist government to turn public opinion against supporting the Palestinian people. This was evident in Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ statement on the day of our arrest: ‘If some think they can repeat what they have seen in other countries and take over universities, setting up tents and creating chaos, they are making a big mistake.’ Labelling us as threats has nothing to do with the facts of our arrest and everything to do with a political tactic to silence us.

Growing up black in both Europe and Africa, I have seen firsthand the remnants of colonial oppression and the struggle for self-determination. In Europe, I encountered systemic racism and social marginalisation, while in Africa, I saw the lasting effects of colonial exploitation. These experiences echo the struggles of Palestinians under Zionist occupation, highlighting the interconnectedness of our struggles for justice. These struggles resonate deeply with me and fuel my commitment to global justice.

During our detention, we witnessed numerous human rights violations, not only against us but also against other undocumented detainees who lack legal representation.

Medical negligence:

– One person in our group requires daily medication, but we had to fight for access every day, resulting in missed doses.
– Another inmate’s request for psychiatric treatment was denied, with appointments delayed until after release.
– The detention centre doctor is rarely available, and in emergencies, medical help is dangerously delayed because of the isolation of the centre.

Food restriction:

– The food provided is barely edible and nutritionally inadequate. We found suspicious blue residue in our meals, raising concerns about drug contamination.
– Despite regulations, visitors were not allowed to bring us food, forcing us to buy overpriced items from the camp’s mini market, which stocks pro-Zionist products.

Manipulating visiting rights:

– The right to visitation has been blatantly violated, with limited access and no possibility of private visits.
– This is contrary to the instructions provided by the embassies, which guarantee more frequent and private visits.

Violation of the right to information:

– Greek authorities systematically try to force us to sign documents without translation, violating our right to understand the consequences.
– Initially, no translations were provided for our deportation orders. When they were, the interpreters were biased, aiming to extract information misleadingly.

In response to our unjust detention and all these injustices, I am going on a permanent hunger strike until my demands are met and for as long as I am held in this camp. My only intakes will be water, sugar, salt, tea, candies, and vitamin B1.

My demands are as follows:
1. End our illegal detention and cancel the deportation order issued before our trial.
2. Allow inmates to receive food and water from outside visitors.
3. Ensure the daily presence of a doctor in the detention centre.
4. Ensure that inmates under medical care take their prescribed medications as directed.
5. Provide timely medical appointments for all inmates.
6. Respect the visitation rights of prisoners in accordance with international standards.
7. Ensure the daily presence of translators in French, English, Arabic, and Farsi.
8. Investigate the blue residue found in our food and end the practice of debilitating prisoners through diet.

I remind the world why we are being held: Palestine has been under Zionist military occupation since 1948, subjected to apartheid and genocide. Our detention is a political move to stifle solidarity with Palestine. They will not succeed.

History teaches us that struggles for justice are interconnected. Reflecting on my African heritage, the resilience and courage of my ancestors against colonialism inspire me to continue fighting against all forms of oppression. The parallels between African liberation struggles and the Palestinian resistance for freedom are clear, highlighting the global struggle for dignity, justice, and human rights.

I join the long tradition of political prisoners using their bodies in protest. My hunger strike is a stand against the injustices of fascist states. Whatever happens to me during this strike is the sole responsibility of the Greek state.

Our resolve is stronger than your suppression. Freedom for Palestine! Freedom for political prisoners! No more administrative detentions!”


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