Two members of anarchist collective Rouvikonas are facing a potential life imprisonment if convicted in a trial that was described as Kafkaesque.
In June 2016, a drug dealer was murdered, execution-style, in the Athens neighborhood of Exarcheia. A few days later, the responsability for the execution was claimed by a group called “Armed People’s Militia”. The group stated “We claim responsibility for the execution of the mafioso Habibi, who for years has been the driving force behind incidents of violence against locals and regulars in the Exarchia area, culminating with the murderous attack on three comrades in the occupied Vox social center in March.”
Then, three years go by, and no member of Rouvikonas is targeted by the investigation in relation to the execution. In July 2019, the right wing governnment of Kyriakos Mitsotakis came to power and promises, among other things, to end “by all means” the anarchist group Rouvikonas, renowned throughout the country for its actions of solidarity and its resistance. In March 2020, an investigating judge takes over the case and indicts two Rouvikonas activists: Nikos Mataragkas and Giorgos Kalaitzidis, respectively for homicide and incitement to murder.
In June 2020, after their hearings at the prosecution, Mataragkas and Kalaitzidis were released without bail and the proceedings were dropped.
However, in April 2021, despite lack of supporting evidence, the autoritities decided to prosecute Mataragkas and Kalaitzidis and their trial was scheduled for October 13 2021. The aim of this action of the state is seemingly to destroy the two activists politically and physically and to damage the image of Rouvikonas and further criminalise the social movement in Greece.
The open letter in support of Nikos Mataragkas and Giorgos Kalaitzidis states:
“Faced with this Kafkaesque trial, we give our support to political and solidarity militants Giorgos Kalaitzidis and Nikos Mataragkas and we demand an immediate end to the proceedings.
We call for strengthening the international support committee: [email protected] (send your name, first name and position to join the signatories).
We also invite support for them financially in this showdown, which is not limited to this trial of the Rouvikonas group: the group is frequently the subject of legal proceedings for less serious reasons, but no less costly (in total, for all actions currently being judged and in the months to come, the group’s legal costs amount to several tens of thousands of euros):
Finally, we call for those who can, for a rally of support on the day of the trial: Wednesday October 13 at 9:00 a.m. at the Efeteio Courthouse, 4 Degleri Street in Athens. Photos of remote support actions are also welcome.”