Pronouncements on Prisoners

Source:, Friday, Sep. 15, 1967

Most of the headlines from Greece last week concerned political prisoners.

One was Mikis Theodorakis, 42, the composer best known for his scores for Zorba the Greek and Phaedra. An avowed Communist and leader of the Red-fronting Lambrakis youth movement, Theodorakis eluded the dragnet that rounded up 6,500 Communists in the early hours of the April 21 coup. The sound of his music bugged the junta, and after Theodorakis was finally nabbed last month, Athens buzzed with reports that the police had tortured or even killed him. Last week the junta put their prisoner on display for foreign newsmen. “I have to tell you two things,” said Theodorakis, who was dressed in sport shirt and slacks, not a prisoner’s uniform. “I have not been mistreated, and the police behavior toward me has been very good.”

The other prisoner who made news was Andreas Papandreou, leftist son of former Premier George Papandreou. The real target of the initial roundup, he is charged with conspiracy to commit treason. A pair of self-proclaimed “secret witnesses” in the Andreas case have now surfaced in the U.S., courtesy of Ramparts magazine, which, after the usual spate of advance publicity, published their story that agents of the KIP (the Greek CIA) coerced them into giving false testimony against Andreas. The two men, part-time Publisher Kyriakos Diakogiannis and Lawyer Andreas Vachliotis, had offered the story to other U.S. newsmen in Athens in return for air fare to a haven outside Greece. But until they got to Ramparts, they were unable to convince anyone of the truth of their tale.

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