Police round up students holding solidarity rally for Romanos

A group of 30 protesters, mostly students, were detained by police on Friday as they staged a demonstration outside the Justice Ministry in solidarity with the convicted bank robber and anarchist Nikos Romanos who is in the fourth week of a hunger strike in protest at the authorities’ refusal to grant him study furloughs.

The students were detained after authorities banned all protests in central Athens from Friday morning until Saturday afternoon as part of increased security for an official visit to Athens by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Meanwhile staff at the G. Gennimata hospital where Romanos is being treated have been staging their own solidarity protest inside the hospital. Some of the protesters, including nurses and doctors, delivered a petition expressing their solidarity to the 21-year-old, sources said. “We will not allow anyone to intervene in the political choice of a hunger strike and in the work of hospital staff,” the hospital workers’ union said in a statement, adding its opposition to the large police presence inside and outside the hospital.