Man gouges his eyes out to protest jailing

Doctors in an Athens hospital were fighting yesterday to save the sight of a man who gouged his eyes out on Monday to protest at his arrest at the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport on the basis of an old conviction in absentia. Remis Tsolakis, 30, was detained when he landed on Saturday night on a flight from his native island of Rhodes after security officials found his name on a wanted list, as he had been sentenced in absentia to 90 days’ imprisonment and an 88-euro fine for a misdemeanor. Being unable to pay the fine and buy off the sentence, Tsolakis was told he would be sent to prison and detained over the weekend. On Monday, while in detention, the man thrust his fingers into his eyes, poking them out of their sockets. Tsolakis was rushed from the airport holding area to Evangelismos hospital, where he was operated on yesterday. Doctors feared he would lose the use of at least one eye.

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