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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 15:39 GMT
Hunger striker given bail
Simon Chapman during the protest
Simon Chapman's supporters say he is critically ill
A British man on day 53 of his hunger strike in a Greek jail has been granted bail.

Simon Chapman, 30, from Basildon, Essex, will be allowed to leave the prison hospital when he is well enough, a Greek court announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Chapman and four other anti-capitalists arrested during a protest at a European Union summit in Thessaloniki in June have not eaten since 5 October.

Mr Chapman's health has been described as "critical".

'Illegal and unethical'

Earlier on Wednesday Greece's public prosecutor Aristidis Frangiadakis ordered doctors to "undertake all necessary actions to save the lives of the prisoners".

Mr Frangiadakis, who is responsible for inmates at Athens' maximum security Korydallos prison, added that "mandatory nourishment" was a legitimate measure.

On Tuesday, the human rights group Amnesty International expressed concern about his arrest and treatment.

A spokesman for Amnesty International said: "We urge the Greek authorities to undertake a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of ill-treatment made by the demonstrators.

Video evidence

"Should the allegations be substantiated, we want to ensure that victims receive adequate compensation and that the perpetrators of human rights violations be brought to justice."

Sara Ayech, from the Thessaloniki Prisoners' Solidarity Campaign, said Mr Chapman and Syrian Sueiman Daikduk, 34, were critically ill in the hospital unit of Korydallos prison.

Greek Spyros Tsitsas, 23, and Spaniards Carlos Martinez, 25, and Fernado Perez, 22, are seriously ill in the state hospital.

Mr Chapman has been charged with possessing Molotov cocktails, an axe and a hammer at the march.

He claims the items were planted on him and that he has video evidence to prove his innocence.

The BBC's Richard Galpin
"He says a video shows the police placing a bag of petrol bombs next to him"

Action call over hunger striker
22 Nov 03  |  Essex

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