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Gangsterism; Torture in Greece

To the Editors:

The Stockholm headquarters of the Panhellenic Liberation Movement (PAK), led by Dr. Andreas Papandreou, has received this distressing report by the wife of Professor Dionysios Karageorgas on the physical condition of her husband. Dr. Karageorgas, an economist who taught at Athens University, was the prime defendant in the political trial of thirty-four members of the Greek Resistance in Athens this spring. He is now serving a life sentence in a prison on Crete.

The health condition of my husband Dionysios Karageorgas is as follows: During the serious accident which he had on the 14th of July 1969, he lost the three middle fingers of his right hand and part of the palm as well as his thumb which was fractured. Furthermore, the drum of his right ear was seriously damaged causing chronic otitis due to the lack of prompt treatment. He is in no position to use his right arm as he did not have proper plastic surgery which, according to the opinion of the specialists, is necessary for the restoration of the movements of the remaining parts of his hand.

Due to total lack of medical treatment he cannot hear at all from his right ear. And due to the inflammatory condition of his ear, he is suffering from neuritis which causes terrible pain, dizziness and headache.

All medical care offered to him up to now has been limited to the treatment of the otitis with the result that the situation has been slightly improved. As far as his damaged right hand is concerned, he has been offered no treatment at all despite the fact that up to now he has submitted three memoranda to the Directors of the Averoff prison and the prison of Kalami, Crete.

Because of this negligence, the condition of his hand is deteriorating daily and from time to time it shows signs of cyanosis due to abnormal blood circulation. The fractured thumb is also causing him a great deal of pain. In order to improve the condition of his hand, a series of delicate operations are needed by a team of specialists in a suitably equipped hospital.

As there is no proper hospital in Greece for such an operation, he as well as his family wish to avoid any treatment in Greece. As to the rehabilitation of his hearing, it is necessary that the otitis is fully treated; plastic surgery in the ear drum is further needed.

Recently, on the 22nd of June 1970, he was suddenly transferred to the prison of Kalami, Crete, where the living conditions are extremely bad especially for those who, due to their disability, cannot take care of themselves, but need continuous medical attention and treatment. This causes serious anxiety for him and his family because, due to the prevailing conditions, his health is expected to deteriorate still further to a degree which is not possible to predict.

In view of the aforementioned facts, we should like to ask you to make every effort so that he will be transferred to a hospital in Athens (if his transfer to a hospital abroad is not possible) for the immediate treatment of his health which is in a serious condition.

Lately, due to the moistness of the climate in Crete and the total lack of medical care, he feels terrible pain in both hands and his ear. Concerning the possibility of his transfer abroad, his family will pay all expenses. Moreover, he himself assures, and the International Red Cross guarantees, that after the improvement of his health, he will return to Greece in order to serve his sentence.

We appeal to your readers to send telegrams to their governments demanding that pressure be brought to bear upon the Greek junta to provide the proper medical attention for Professor Karageorgas.

Nicholas Skoulas

Canadian Representative, PAK

Toronto, Canada

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